Environment

Nasa Mars rover: Perseverance robot launches to detect life on Red Planet

The US space agency's Perseverance robot has left Earth on a mission to try to detect life on Mars. The one-tonne, six-wheeled rover was launched out of Florida by an Atlas rocket on a path to intercept the Red Planet in February next year. When it lands, the Nasa robot will also gather rock and soil samples to be sent home later this decade. Perseverance is the third mission despatched to Mars inside 11 days, after launches by the UAE and China. Nasa made this mission one of its absolute priorities when the coronavirus crisis struck, establishing special work practices to ensure Perseverance met its launch deadline. "I'm not going to lie, it's a challenge, it's very stressful, but look - the teams made it happen and I'll tell you...

China's Mars probe photographs Earth en route to Red Planet

China's first Mars probe has beamed back a photo of the Earth and the Moon as it heads toward its destination, the country's space agency said Tuesday. The image, which shows the two celestial bodies as small crescents in the empty darkness of space, was taken 1.2 million kilometres (746,000 miles) away from Earth three days after the Tianwen-1 mission was launched on Thursday, the China National Space Administration said. China joined the United States and United Arab Emirates this month in launching a mission to Mars, taking advantage of a period when Mars and Earth are favourably aligned. The mission, given a name that means "Questions to Heaven," aims to enter Martian orbit seven months after the launch and release a small ...

Has the wooden skyscraper revolution finally arrived?

Surrounded by farmland and with a population of under 10,000 people, the Norwegian town of Brumunddal might seem like an unlikely setting for a record-breaking high-rise. But soaring above the neighboring Mjøsa lake, more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Oslo, the 280-foot-tall Mjøstårnet tower became the world's tallest timber building when it opened last year. The 18-story structure contains apartments, office space and the aptly named Wood Hotel. And beyond putting a small town on the world map, it has added to a growing body of evidence that timber can provide a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel. "To get attention, you have to build tall," said Øystein Elgsaas, a partner at the architecture practice behind ...

Ambitious designs for underwater 'space station' and habitat unveiled

Sixty feet beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea, aquanaut Fabien Cousteau and industrial designer Yves Béhar are envisioning the world's largest underwater research station and habitat. The pair have unveiled Fabien Cousteau's Proteus, a 4,000-square-foot modular lab that will sit under the water off the coast of Curaçao, providing a home to scientists and researchers from across the world studying the ocean -- from the effects of climate change and new marine life to medicinal breakthroughs. Designed as a two-story circular structure grounded to the ocean floor on stilts, Proteus' protruding pods contain laboratories, personal quarters, medical bays and a moon pool where divers can access the ocean floor. Powered by wind and solar ener...

Renewables now EU's biggest source of electricity: study

Renewable energy sources such as the wind and the sun overtook fossil fuels as the European Union's main generators of electricity in the first half of this year, according to a new report published on Wednesday. "In the first half of 2020, renewables – wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy -- generated 40 percent of of the EU-27's electricity, whereas fossil fuels generated 34 percent," the London-based think-tank Ember found in its study. The amount of electricity generated by renewables in the EU's 27 member states rose by 11 percent in the period from January to June, Ember calculated. "This was driven by new wind and solar installations and favourable conditions during a mild and windy start to the year." Wind and so...

Women driving the change in South Africa

In June this year, 80 women in 40 red cars raced to Monte Carlo for the annual fundraising tour Cash & Rocket. Last week, six of those participants, the charity’s founder Julie Brangstrup, and their children travelled to Johannesburg in South Africa. They embarked on a long drive to the province of Limpopo bordering Botswana and Zimbabwe to visit Sumbandila, one of the three charities that receives life-changing support from Cash & Rocket. This is Julie’s story. The focus of this year’s visit was to award five new, full scholarships to five amazingly bright children who have gone through extensive testing and achieved incredible results to gain their award. Each year, 400 children are tested and those who are successful receive ful...

European Waste Reduction Week (SERD) 16 to 24 November 2019

This year, the Principality of Monaco, along with many other states, is joining Waste Reduction Week (SERD), which will take place from 16 to 24 November 2019, on the theme of "Education and communication to waste reduction ". This event aims to promote the implementation of awareness actions on the sustainable management of resources and waste during the same week in the acceding countries, European and non-European. In this context, the Directorate of the Environment has signed a Charter committing the Principality of Monaco to implement, during this week, awareness actions to reduce waste. Private actors, civil society and the public sector are invited to set up and animate their own participation actions in this event. Thes...

Jean Castellini meets the merchants of Larvotto

Jean Castellini, Government Counselor - Minister of Finance and Economy, accompanied by Rémy Rolland, Administrator of the Domaines and Olivier Damour of the Public Works Department, visited Larvotto today to meet the traders who have released spaces, restaurants or businesses, to make room for redevelopment work. "The purpose of my visit is to show the interest of the Government in merchants Larvotto and the project of complete redevelopment of the area. I can only welcome the state of mind of everyone during the exchanges, especially with the Administration of Domains to consider this closure and set the compensation based on turnover, "he said. He also mentioned the need to embellish the place: "Today, opens a new era wi...

Conference: Marie-Pierre Gramaglia at the E.S.C.

Marie-Pierre Gramaglia, Government Counselor Minister of Equipment, Environment and Urbanism, presented the main lines of the mobility policy of the Princely Government to the members of the Economic and Social Council (ESC), in the presence Caroline Rougaignon-Vernin, President of the ESC...

Sludge flow from Testimonio shipyard on the Saint-Roman beach

A flow of sludge occurred late last week on the beach of Saint-Roman called the Iron Bridge, on the border of the eastern border of the Principality. During a pile-driving operation on the Testimonio site, an unidentified fault in the ground accelerated a flow of sludge that spilled into the valley to the beach. Although drilling operations were immediately halted on Friday, the muddy waters continued to run until Monday. The cleaning operations were thus able to begin to reduce this nuisance of non-bacteriological turbidity. At the initiative of the State services, the site managers are in contact with the competent departments of the Roquebrune Cap Martin Town Hall, to ensure information in real time. A surveillance camera will also b...

Monaco rewards eco-friendly app in Brazil

The Monaco Tourism Office has awarded its Green is the New Glam Award to a start-up in Brazil that is promoting sustainable ways of travelling by water. It means that the winner can now pitch their project to thousands of entrepreneurs and investors. Monaco, in its quest to promote sustainable development projects both in and outside the Principality, took the show on the road and participated in this year’s Gramado Summit in Brazil from 31st July to 2nd August. The summit, touted as the biggest brainstorming session in Latin America, attracted more than 4,000 people, including 100 companies, 120 speakers, and dozens of investors. It is intended to allow upstart companies the chance to meet with business leaders and investors. Monaco’s i...

Greta Thunberg sails to New York with Pierre Casiraghi

The Swedish teenager known for calling out the leaders of the world for their complete lack of action on climate change has just teamed up with Monaco’s favourite blueblood, Pierre Casiraghi. Together with her father and Nathan Grossman, they have set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in a solar-powered sailboat, heading to the UN World Summit in September. Setting a precedent for those who arrive to a climate summit by airplane, Greta Thunberg started a two-week journey to New York. Instead of taking a plane to the Big Apple, she is sailing across the with her father, Nathan Grossman and Pierre Casiraghi, as she will attend a UN World Climate Action Summit Greta Thunberg has quickly become the face of the fight against climate change. She e...