Following the established tradition of his predecessors, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II came to Imperial to promote ocean conservation. The principality of Monaco is known to have led many expeditions under the leadership of Prince Albert I, the current prince’s grandfather, and Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the famous oceanographer. These include creating the first modern bathymetric map and a large contribution to the study of the Gulf Stream.

The lecture, entitled “The climate change: a threat to the oceans. The Ocean: a chance for the climate”, covered the main issues facing our oceans due to pollution and climate change, such as acidification. The Prince spoke of the different initiatives Monaco had recently put into place to safeguard this environment, culminating in the creation of World Ocean Summit taking place this year in Mexico.

He outlined a three-point strategy towards a solution to these issues: rigorous science, comprehensive protection, and a sustainable economy. On the first point he made allusions to the work being done by Imperial and his foundation. He then expressed the need for leaders to urge reluctant states to stand up and safeguard the fragile environment that is our seas. Finally, the Prince stressed that the way forward was through a Blue Economy, the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, and highlighted how these solutions were being implemented in Monaco.

He also mentioned the accountability of individuals in this crisis, especially with regards to plastic pollution and travel, and ended with a quote from Winston Churchill: “What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone”.

Although the points of the lecture were relevant and interesting, the speaker struggled to give them with panache, and failed to answer the questions asked by the audience – namely how young graduates could be a part of this new Blue Economy. Perhaps the Grantham Institute should choose future speakers with an understanding of their topic as well as notoriety if it is to please both its student and staff body, as well as the general public.

You can watch the lecture in full at: