It may be one of the smallest countries in the world, but sustainable development policy in Monaco is leading the charge.
Under the leadership of Prince Albert II, the principality is becoming an unlikely global leader in sustainable building design and eco-initiatives, both on land and its surrounding sea waters.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT POLICY IN MONACO
In 2006 Prince Albert II established the Prince Albert II Monaco Foundation to help protect the ocean and Earth for the future of humanity and encourage a new relationship with nature and the various species on Earth. Over the last 15 years, the foundation has invested nearly $100 million to fund some 700 projects that focus on promoting renewable energies, preserving biodiversity, combating deforestation, and limiting the effects of climate change.
Underpinning his commitment to creating a cleaner, greener Earth, Prince Albert has committed to a robust sustainable development policy in Monaco, with the aim of being net-zero in 2050
“We are still on target right now,” the prince said in a 2021 interview with the Washington Post, “to have a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. Most countries have set the same types of goals, but I don’t know how many are still on target.”
SUSTAINABLE BUILDING IN MONACO
With sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s minds, developments in Monaco must now be as eco-friendly as possible and built in line with the principality’s sustainable planning policies.
For example, Mareterra Monaco, is a new eco-district that boasts cutting-edge sustainable buildings and technology built into the very fabric of the development, including solar panels, rainwater recovery systems, and dedicated electric vehicle charging stations.
Lush gardens, which will include some 800 purposefully planted trees, have also been designed to encourage nature, including strategically placed bird nests and insect hotels to help ensure nature thrives.
Not only is the development itself sustainable, but its build has been handled in a way to minimise its impact on the surrounding environment, including the creation of artificial reefs to encourage marine life and the protection of more than 500 square metres of Posidonia Oceanica, a protected species of seagrass that plays an integral part in maintaining healthy oceans.
A large part of the sustainable development policy in Monaco is encouraging electric vehicles and sustainable modes of transport.
“We have almost now 10 percent of the overall fleet of vehicles in Monaco that is either hybrid or electric,” Prince Albert said in a recent interview. “So, for a country of less than 40,000 in population, that’s a pretty good ratio.”
Last year, the government installed more than 140 electric charging points throughout the principality, including at the side of roads and in car parks. The ‘Monaco On’ initiative boasts a network of bright yellow electric charging points that are free to use and boast a fast recharging speed. And to ensure a completely effortless experience, an accompanying app allows users to see their nearest available charging points.
In 2009, Monaco banned bluefin tuna from appearing on restaurant menus as part of its sustainable development policy. According to reports, in the mid-2000s, 80% of bluefin tuna disappeared from the world’s oceans, and the species’ survival was at risk. The move helped to spark dialogue at an international level, and now, just over 10 years later, stocks are rebounding.
The move is just one of many that have encouraged people in Monaco to re-think not only what is on their plate but its provenance too. The principality now offers several certifications for restaurants, including the Responsible Restaurant certification, awarded to establishments that adopt good sustainable practices, including reducing the use of single-use plastics and combating food waste. Additionally, many of Monaco’s restaurants boast the European Mr Goodfish certification, which is awarded to establishments that make sustainable seafood choices.
Monaco’s finest restaurants are helping to ensure sustainable practices. Elsa, at the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, for example, is the first organic Michelin starred restaurant that is certified by Ecocert, proving that luxury and sustainability can go hand-in-hand.
Other restaurants are using the city-states thriving urban agriculture movement, called Terre de Monaco, which now extends across terraces, roof spaces and small plots of land. For example, chef Marcel Ravin’s Blue Bay restaurant at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort utilises produce from its own organic garden.
As Prince Albert notes, creating a greener future isn’t just about big sweeping changes; it’s about everyone “just trying to apply very simple mechanisms and very simple ways of living more sustainably and using resources in a much more sustainable way.”
The sustainable development policy in Monaco demonstrates how lots of changes can really make a difference in creating a greener Earth for future generations.