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Monaco Tells The Rich - Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Dec 5, 2007
In the world of environmental lobbying there's one country's leader the activists know they don't need to persuade that their cause is right - Prince Albert of Monaco.

From the day he took office two years ago he immediately made his mark by signing Monaco up for the Kyoto protocol, and since then has regularly taken his own initiatives and publicised others to further the green agenda.

Speaking at the Ritz Hotel in London recently, Prince Albert told assembled reporters about his own environment foundation which he launched after a visit to the Arctic to study the impact of global warming and rising sea levels.

But while he might be able to persuade the great and the good to help with his foundation, will he be able to persuade millionaires to get on a bus and leave their Aston Marion or Ferrari at home?

Monaco reduced the cost of a bus ride down to one Euro in April 2007, and the number of people taking the bus has risen, but the percentage figure could be in single figures - a move in the right direction but not enough to significantly reduce Monaco's carbon footprint in itself.

Prince Albert is reported as saying that he would consider introoducing a congestion charge to Monaco, much like that of London. Considering the size of Monaco at around a square mile and the number of people who work in Monaco but commute in it could be a good revenue earner for the tax haven, as well as potentially reducing the overall impact on the environment the Principality has.

And the good news for Monaco's millionaires is that if they were going to be charged 10 Euros a day for using their car before 10am some of them would make more than that in interest in one of their Monaco bank accounts by journey end.

Recently though global warming and rising tea temperatures aren't playing to quite the script that Prince Albert might have expected, according to recently released figures.

Rising sea temperatures is seen as a major contributor to the ice caps melting, and is seen as a controversial part of the green campaign on climate change as some scientists argue that sea temperatures would take hundreds of years to rise as a direct result of human activity. Quite what Prince Albert will make of the findings on his own doorstep isn't known yet.

The Mediterranean waters off Monaco caused concern four years ago in 2003 when the water temperature reached 28 degrees centigrade - 82 degrees farenheit - but this year saw temperatures cool considerably to 23 centigrade in July and 24 in August. Two other warm years apart from 2003 were 2001 and 2006.

Commenting on the findings, a local Monaco travel guide states 'There doesn't appear to be a consistent rise over the years in the water temperatures, and they vary year by year, sometimes rising, sometimes falling - which would appear fairly natural rather than anything that could be seen as particularly alarming with a need for action. Should temperatures rise consistently for a few years in succession perhaps that would indicate something really is going on in the Mediterranean around Monaco.'

Whether a traffic cop in Monaco will see it that way for anyone trying to avoid a congestion charge is another matter!
About the Author
More environmental news about what is happening in Monaco and Monte Carlo is available at YourMonaco.com

Official Grand Prix Monaco F1 tickets along with Monaco hotel reviews and hotels in Nice are also available at YourMonaco.com
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