Following the publication of Monaco’s White Paper (‘Livre Blanc‘) last week, Prince Albert shared his thoughts on the Principality’s energy transition. “Together we will create a society that uses less energy, a society that privileges from the use of renewable energy and will be more durable. Together we will favour this new society free of fossil fuels. Like Henry Ford said “coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success”. Besides the satisfaction of having carried out the founding stages of a collective project involving the private and public sector, the Prince has provided some details – or wishes – for its practical application.
Were you surprised by the quantity and quality of suggestions received with the publication of the Livre Blanc?
I felt a strong connection to the project that the government is putting in place and I am satisfied. Certain contributions were really excellent. It was time to put forth a clear message about our energy transition and what that entails.
We need to see now how things will be put into place. But there are some good options, some good responses to the problems we posed. If we want to obtain our objectives, we need to put our foot on the accelerator. This requires great effort, but it is possible, even for a small country.
A public building modelled in the field of renewable energy was announced with the “Livre Blanc”. Which one?
Two solutions were offered to us, but the decision hasn’t been made. It will in part be an old building adjacent to free space onto which it will be extended.
The development of clean transport is a good way to urge people to go sustainable. What are your thoughts on the proposed cable car from the Jardin Exotique?
This project is beginning to be finalised. There is the possibility to achieve it by creating a main station departing from la Brasca, but other problems come into play because it would have to travel above private properties.
That being said, if we connected the Jardin Exotique to Fontvieille with another extension to the Rocher, I think this would eliminate the traffic caused by tens of thousands of cars a year. This might not seem like much but it’s a step towards clean transportation.
What about rail networks?
Discussions are underway to ensure a smooth transition. This is in my view important and has been predicted from the outset. The SNCF has understood well what is at stake.
Do you think the sea extension project will blur the Principality’s environmental message?
No, I don’t think so. I know what awaits us around the corner and that scientists are paying close attention to what we are doing. It’s a difficult project with very strict guidelines. We must carry out an exemplary execution and I’ll make sure of it myself. Also to prove that it is possible to carry out such a project whilst having limited impact on marine life. Obviously it is difficult to create six hectares and it would have been even more complicated to create 15 or 18 hectares! There won’t be zero impact, but the work procedures we have put in place will have the least impact possible. We want to ensure the rehabilitation of various species to help them recolonize these new extensions.
We haven’t heard much about the environment during the French election campaign. Do you regret this?
Obviously, we can’t but regret it. I’m interested in this campaign like everyone else. For now the subject has been overshadowed. Other worries have taken centre stage, perhaps more urgent ones. But I hope that before the debates end, the candidates will share their thoughts and plans for the environment.