Monaco might be one of the smallest countries in the world, but that isn’t stopping it from leading a green revolution. From the development of eco-districts to the encouragement of urban agriculture, Monaco’s green revolution is highlighting how luxury and sustainability can go hand-in-hand. And with ambitious plans to be carbon neutral by 2050, sometimes even the smallest of initiatives can all add up to a big difference. Here are just some of the ways the principality is creating a greener and more sustainable future by placing the environment at the top of its list of core values.
Monaco’s green revolution
A leading environmental foundation
Prince Albert II has led the charge to develop Monaco’s green revolution. In 2006, he established the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to steering Monaco’s green revolution supporting research, studies, technological innovation and socially aware practices. In addition, the foundation aims to protect the environment and promote sustainability on a global scale, including within the Mediterranean basin, the polar regions, and the world’s least developed cities.
Each year the foundation hosts the Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health, raising awareness on the importance of sustainability and raising funds to help the foundation with its goals. To date, more than US$75 million has been raised through fundraising events, which has helped support more than 550 global conservation projects.
At the 2020 gala held Sept. 24, Prince Albert II said: “Our health depends on the health of the environment in which we live. That is why more than ever before we need to continue our efforts and actions to protect our planet for future generations.”
One such example of Monaco’s desire to create state-of-the-art sustainable developments at the forefront of the green revolution is Mareterra, formerly known as Portier Cove. This eco-friendly district has been thoughtfully designed to ensure green and sustainable initiatives are built into its very fabric.
This ambitious land reclamation project includes rainwater recovery systems, solar energy panels, thermal pumps, e-bike stations and a dedicated network of some 200 electric car charging stations.
Finally, this exciting new district will be pedestrianised, creating a healthier and safer environment. During the planning stage, Mareterra went through a robust environmental impact study, to reduce as far as possible any adverse effects on the environment.
“This latest project will see the creation of a six-hectare eco-friendly district, with strong ambitions on the sustainable development and environmental protection front,” Marie-Pierre Gramaglia from Monaco’s Ministry of Public Works, the Environment and Urban Development said in a news article published by euronews.
Except when the Monaco Grand Prix roars into action, for most of the year, residents and visitors in Monaco are encouraged to adopt ‘slow travel’.
Schemes such as Monabike, an electric bike initiative and Mobee, a carsharing service, are all part of Monaco’s policy to cut greenhouse gasses and eventually become carbon neutral. The principality’s green revolution also includes hybrid busses, and even a solar-powered taxi boat that transports passengers across Port Hercules.
Encouraging nature to thrive in an urban environment is no easy task. However, recognising the importance of nature and the role that it plays in a sustainable climate, Monaco is doing just this. As part of its green revolution, Monaco’s Environment Department has installed artificial nesting boxes across the city-state’s parks and gardens. Sparrows, scops owls, and kestrels are just some of the target species.
Bringing nature into the city has multiple advantages beyond just the conservation of bird species. It also fosters a love of nature in younger generations, whilst also helping with pest control.
Despite Monaco being one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world, this hasn’t stopped green-fingered eco-warriors from finding ways to grow their own produce, demonstrating how a green revolution can be created from the tiniest of spaces.
Determined to offer diners an authentic farm-to-table experience, forward-thinking restaurants have found ways to grow produce. Terre de Monaco is one such organisation encouraging Monaco’s urban agriculture by designing and providing growing boxes and urban vegetable and fruit gardens for the smallest of outdoor spaces, from terraces to rooftops.
The Michelin-starred Blue Bay restaurant is just one restaurant that uses freshly grown Monaco produce from one of Terre de Monaco’s gardens on top of the conference room roof at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
Other green revolution initiatives include aiming to eliminate the use of single-use plastics in the principality. Plastic straws, stirrers, single-use plastic bags, disposable plastic utensils, cups, plates, and even cotton buds have all been banned. It’s all part of the principality’s “Zero Single-Use Plastic Waste by 2030” policy.
There’s no doubt that Monaco is leading the green revolution, highlighting how small changes all add up to make a big difference.