Green Monaco

The Prin­ci­pal­ity is fast be­com­ing a model of sus­tain­abil­ity, finds Carla Passino

Country Life Every Week - - Monaco -

‘The coun­try has adopted an am­bi­tious en­ergy and cli­mate strat­egy

IT used to be a by­word for For­mula 1, glitzy balls and glam­orous peo­ple, but Monaco has now carved it­self a new role. The small Prin­ci­pal­ity is a torch­bearer for sus­tain­abil­ity in Europe. ‘Monaco is a small ur­banised ter­ri­tory and it’s not al­ways easy to bring to­gether eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion,’ says Eve­lyne Genta, the coun­try’s am­bas­sador to the UK. ‘How­ever, Prince Al­bert has clearly set the en­force­ment of a pol­icy in favour of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment as a pri­or­ity.’

In 2006, the Prince launched a foun­da­tion to help con­tain the im­pact of cli­mate change, sup­port re­new­able en­ergy, pro­tect bio­di­ver­sity and con­serve wa­ter re­sources. With him as a cham­pion, sus­tain­abil­ity quickly gained trac­tion.

The coun­try has adopted an am­bi­tious en­ergy and cli­mate strat­egy, which sets out to re­duce green­house-gas emis­sions and over­all en­ergy con­sump­tion while re­plac­ing fos­sil fu­els with re­new­able sources, such as sea­wa­ter heat pumps and so­lar en­ergy. An ef­fi­cient pub­lic-trans­port sys­tem com­bin­ing hy­brid and biodiesel buses with pub­lic lifts, elec­tric bi­cy­cles and an elec­tric shuttle boat has helped de­crease the Mediter­ranean city-state’s car­bon foot­print. An elec­tric­car shar­ing ser­vice also en­cour­ages the switch to a greener life­style.

Many of Monaco’s ho­tels have also em­braced the Prince’s ethos, adopt­ing strin­gent waste-man­age­ment mea­sures, sourc­ing food lo­cally or com­mit­ting to a scheme that pro­motes the re­spon­si­ble con­sump­tion of seafood.

Lately, de­vel­op­ers have also be­gun up­ping their sus­tain­abil­ity cre­den­tials. For ex­am­ple, says Irene Luke of Sav­ills Monaco, La Pe­tite Afrique, a bou­tique de­vel­op­ment de­signed by Brazil­ian ar­chi­tect Isay We­in­feld, uses sus­tain­able wood and fea­tures lush green­ery on ev­ery ter­race.

Portier Cove, Monaco’s new 15-acre off­shore ex­pan­sion, is an eco-friendly neigh­bour­hood in which re­new­able sources will power 40% of all en­ergy needs. ‘There’s also a big piece of land set aside for park use,’ adds Mrs Luke.

Less vis­i­ble, but equally cru­cial, is the ac­tion taken to pre­serve the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment. With two ma­rine re­serves, the Prin­ci­pal­ity has been very suc­cess­ful in pro­tect­ing bio­di­ver­sity and is now pi­lot­ing the use of 3D-printed co­ral reefs made of dolomite sand to com­bat co­ral de­cline. As Mrs Luke notes: ‘Monaco can’t get ev­ery­thing per­fect, be­cause it’s so small—but it’s do­ing a lot of things right.’

Look­ing to­wards the fu­ture: al­though it has a com­par­a­tively high pop­u­la­tion, the Prin­ci­pal­ity wants to make sure its beauty is sus­tain­able

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