Rising sea levels, intense heatwaves and invasive species are among climate-related threats that the Principality of Monaco takes extremely seriously, underlines Prince Albert II in an interview with UN Environment’s Patron for the Polar Regions Slava Fetisov.
UN Environment Patron for the Polar Regions Slava Fetisov met with Prince Albert II of Monaco to discuss The Last Game for the Arctic and learn how the Principality stands to be affected by climate change and its plans for tackling it.
The Principality of Monaco leads several projects to raise awareness on the effects of climate change and aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Why are you concerned about global warming?
Global warming is jeopardizing the planet’s equilibrium and compromising the future of humanity. It is one of the greatest challenges our planet is facing: the average global temperature of the Earth is more than 1°C above preindustrial levels, the average global sea level has risen by 20 centimetres and continues to rise, while in the polar regions the ice is melting faster than anyone had predicted. These tangible facts demonstrate the urgency of action that needs to be taken to tackle this issue. We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote renewable energies and improve energy efficiency.
Since its creation in 2006, my foundation [The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation] pursues its commitment to help fight climate change on the ground. We support projects designed to measure, understand and alert public opinion, to find ways to limit global warming.
How does climate change affect the Principality of Monaco?
Climate change does not strike with surgical precision, but impacts the whole planet, some areas being more affected than others. Climate change has negative consequences on meteorological balances and ecosystems in the Mediterranean basin as well as in many parts of the world: sea levels rise; extreme weather events are more frequent; floods, intense heatwaves, fires, temperature rise of the Mediterranean Sea and species loss are threats that we take extremely seriously in Monaco.
Conscious that only solidarity and cooperation between nations will help us tackle this issue, Monaco intends to contribute fully to the common effort by playing an active role in environment preservation. I have defined clear guidelines for a carbon-free economy for my country, encouraging energy efficiency and clean mobility. We are focused on our ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2050 with the hope to serve as an example.
How can sports and The Last Game address and help tackle the problem of climate change?
Values of sport carry a universal language and unite peoples across cultures while climate change needs to be brought to the attention of the greatest number.
Building a bridge between sport and environmental messages seems quite natural and benefits the cause. By organizing The Last Game— which I regret not being able to participate in—in a geographical area strongly affected by the effects of climate change, you help raise awareness among citizens. You gather global attention to the severe situation the Arctic is facing, and the impact climate change is already having on ecosystems and communities. Initiatives like yours are always precious occasions to share our common will for a sustainable future.