Monaco, a city-state of 38,300 residents, has formally joined the BreatheLife campaign.
The most densely populated sovereign state in the world is taking action to cut air pollution from sources on land and sea.
“We aim to reach the WHO air quality guidelines within 2030 to enhance the quality of life of Monaco’s population,” said Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Mr Didier Gamerdinger.
Monaco’s current air quality standards are aligned with those of the European Union, it is also in the process of establishing national regulations determining its own such standards.
Highlights of its ongoing and planned actions include the following:
• A waste management plan that aims to reduce solid waste and to ban single-use plastic;
• Ban on marine heavy fuel use in the Principality since 2018;
• Ban on domestic fuel from 2022 coupled with a switch to alternative energy;
• Mobility Plan, which includes a Cycling Plan; and
• A Climate, Air, Energy Plan to 2030.
These actions will contribute to meeting Monaco’s ambitious targets under the Paris Agreement on climate change to safeguard human health.
Cutting waste and single-use plastic
Monaco’s Waste Management Plan is intended to cut growth in solid waste production and to increase the share of recyclable plastic recovered, even as it cracks down on single use plastic like plastic bags (which were banned in 2018), straws (banned in 2019) and tableware (to be banned in 2020).
The Principality is committed to eliminate totally the single use plastic within 2030.
Heavy marine fuel banned since 2018
Monaco’s ban on the use of heavy fuel oil in the maritime sector has been in effect since 2018, geared towards bringing down pollution by vessels docked in Mediterranean nation’s harbour or moored quayside.
It’s a move that supports International Maritime Organization commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and to more stringent fuel efficiency standards.
Monaco is also one of the main champions of a maritime low-emissions zone in the Mediterranean, which would join four others already in place around the world.
Switching from oil-fired heating and promoting renewable energy
While oil-fired heating has been banned in new buildings since 2003, its phase-out is expected to be complete by 2022, when all buildings will be covered by a new policy that prohibits the use of domestic fuel.
Monaco has been rolling out new energy efficiency regulations in buildings since 2018, enhanced by the promotion of environmental labelling for new buildings (such as HQE, BREEAM, BD2M).
It has also implemented a subsidy programme and charted a solar energy map to promote solar photovoltaic equipment and has instituted a new marine thermal energy network programme.
Renewable energy (local production and imported certified electricity) represents about 47 per cent of the total energy consumption in the country.
Promoting electric, public and active transport
Monaco’s plan to tackle transport emissions has several elements: an incentive policy to promote the use of hybrid and electric vehicles, which currently represent almost 5 per cent of all vehicles in the country; promoting the use of public transport; persuading people to walk and cycle more by building up supportive infrastructure; and encouraging teleworking.
The government notes, however, that changes to transport habits also depends on individual awareness and changes in behaviour.
Air quality monitoring in a SmartCity
Monaco is developing and rolling out air pollution forecasting and advisory through modelling and an Air Quality Index, which will be available at a street level in 2022.
As part of being a SmartCity, the country will deploy mobile air quality low-cost sensors in 2019, which will reinforce the data from the already-established air quality monitoring stations.
The government will promote air quality warning forecasting tools to raise public awareness of air quality and its links to health, and to reduce the risk of acute health episodes.
It also plans to monitor new pollutants such as black carbon and to improve knowledge and predicting information by air quality modelling.
Monaco brings to the BreatheLife campaign its particular experience of mitigating air pollution and climate change as a compact, densely-populated, coastal city and country, and one that champions clean air from land and maritime sources.
“The Monaco Government is fully mobilized to tackle the threat of air pollution to climate stability and human health, but only together can we face this problem at the heart of our quality of life,” said Minister of Public Works, Environment and Urbanism, Marie-Pierre Gramaglia.
Follow Monaco’s clean air journey here.
Banner photo by lackystrike/CC BY-ND 2.0