Volker Heun


    hen you hear Monaco, you probably think immediately
    of Formula 1, casinos and mega yachts moored
    in the harbour against the impressive city background.

Who doesn’t? For people all over the world, Monaco is the epitome of luxury lifestyle and savoir vivre. For centuries, Europe’s second-smallest state (after Vatican City) has been presided over by the Grimaldis prince’s family that made glamour and headlines in earlier years, especially with Prince Rainier and his wife, Hollywood actress Grace Kelly. Times have changed, and so it is not surprising that not only the jet set, but also other issues are in focus in the principality.

Prince Albert of Monaco has a special share in this. The 64-year-old regent of the Principality of Monaco, honorary doctor and honorary professor of International Studies at Tarrant County College, has a passion: he wants to raise people’s awareness of the environment. Whether on his trips to the North or South Pole, his credo is always “Preserving and improving the quality of the world’s oceans”. Just how serious the regent is about this and how much of a climate visionary and climate pragmatist he is himself is demonstrated not only by the abundance of projects he has undertaken, but also by his determination to decisively declare war on man-made climate change.

His determination is shown by the fact that the small principality ratified the Kyoto Protocol as early as 2006, has been committed to reducing CO2 emissions for 16 years and has written the issue of renewable energies as a primary goal on its agenda. With his “Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco”, an international network to which renowned scientists, aristocrats and entrepreneurs alike belong, he supports the construction of sustainable desalination plants, promotes research into new plants for the production of biogas and the preservation of biodiversity in the field of European bird life. As patron of the UNEP’s “Billion Tree Campaign”, Prince Albert II supports reforestation and is committed to energy-efficient construction. 

On the website of Prince Albert’s foundation, www.fpa2.org, you can find the multitude of activities from the preservation and restoration of coral reefs to the plastic-free Mediterranean.

No one knows this better than Prince Albert II, whose father Rainier was a pioneer in environmental protection who founded an environmental zone to protect the French-Italian Mediterranean coast and was one of the first to advocate the regulation of whaling. Prince Albert II has followed in his footsteps, continuing the great legacy and setting his own new accents. Be it in the expansion of e-mobility and other alternative drive methods in the Principality or the bio-monitoring programme, which examines the quality of the seawater and the impact on organisms. As early as 2009, Prince Albert pleaded for a trade ban on the endangered bluefin tuna. Sustainable fishing on the one hand and the fight against desertification and reforestation on the other hand are also in the focus of Albert II. The Monegasque knows that climate change can only be tackled together and that global commitment is needed from everyone. Thus, Albert II of Monaco also calls for a rethink towards “clean mobility”, because the climate situation demands that we change the way we travel, work, consume and feed ourselves. We know for sure that our climate is changing in a very accelerated way.

Sometimes, however, it is not easy to reconcile one’s own goals and visions with reality. Prince Albert solves this in a creative way. Since Monaco is only two square kilometres in size, the Principality is running out of space for new high-priced residential projects. So a creative solution has been found. By 2025, the new urban district of Portier Cove is to be built along the coast, for which six hectares of land will be reclaimed from the sea. 60,000 square metres of residential and commercial space are to be built here. There will be space for 1000 people in five apartment buildings and 14 villas. One of the residential buildings was designed by the star architect Renzo Piano. It looks as if it is floating above the beach promenade, which is six metres above the water. A park, a harbour for 30 boats and a main square are also planned. The seabed was dredged for this new district. 18 concrete caissons, each weighing 10,000 tonnes, will serve as a seawall. The newly created area will then be filled with 600,000 cubic metres of sand from Sicily. The associated buildings are to be completed by 2025. The extension has been planned to follow the contours of the existing coastline so as not to affect the currents. The district is to become an ecological showcase. There will be no cars here. 40 percent of the energy will come from renewable sources. Countless rocks with protected algae, pinnipeds and Neptune grass have already been relocated.

Monaco combines ultimate innovation with sustainability thanks to the Prince’s tireless efforts. In doing so, he moves on forums worldwide and at the same time governs his principality with selfless justice. Instead of criticising, other states can certainly take an example from this. 

The fact that Prince Albert has been committed to the environment for years does not detract from the luxury lifestyle in Monaco. This man managed to unite two worlds that at first glance do not really seem to fit together, and that makes him a very special visionary.

WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner