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Climate Change Reducing the Number of Winter Olympic Candidate Cities, Says Thomas Bach

IOC president argues potential candidates see “no return on investment” as rising global temperature threatens winter sports.
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Finding cities capable of hosting the Winter Olympic Games is becoming increasingly challenging as a result of climate change, according to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach.

Bach said that while geographical obstacles limited the number of potential host cities anyway, the issue was being exacerbated by the changing weather and how it’s being received by potential decision-makers within cities.

“What we have now with climate change, in particular in Europe, is an even further reduced number of potential candidates,” he told delegates at the Smart Cities and Sport Summit in Lausanne. “People are saying it makes no sense any more to invest in winter sports.

“There’s no return on investment because in 10 years we will have no snow.”

A piece of research published this year by the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, painted a bleak picture for the future of the Winter Games, revealing more than half of the former host cities will be too warm by the end of the century to host the event.

If global warming continues at the current rate – past the 1.5°C needed to stabilise climate change – it’s likely that alpine ski resorts will lose up to 70% of their snow cover.

Europe will likely be the destination for the 2026 Games, with both Stockholm and an Italian bid involving Milan and Cortina D’Ampezzo through to the next stage of the bidding process. Calgary also made the cut, although it’s being widely reported that its bid may be close to being withdrawn.

Read the full article here.

Danish Olympic Committee Hopes to ‘Influence’ Sport with Human Rights and Sustainability Expertise

By Matthew Campelli, Sport Sustainability Journal

After partnering with Amnesty International, the committee hopes to use its insight to help decision makers choose appropriate hosts for major sporting events

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TO WORK TOWARDS A WORLD OF SPORT THAT FULLY RESPECTS HUMAN RIGHTS by sharing knowledge, building capacity and increasing accountability of all actors through collective action. That’s the mission of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, a sport-specific organisation formed by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) in June this year.

The project has been in the pipeline ever since the IHRB assisted the Sustainability Commission of the London 2012 Olympics and started to develop white papers covering various human rights risks that could occur during the preparations of sporting events.

And with major human rights violations reported in nations that have been awarded mega sporting events in recent years, another layer of scrutiny and support will be welcomed by those who want sport to be held up as an industry devoted to good practice and human equality.

At the Fundamental Rights Forum 2018, hosted in Vienna last week, Alison Biscoe of the IHRB said that sport had the potential to be the “catalyst for progress and sustainable development”, but emphasised the importance of a collective approach that consisted of shared knowledge, capacity building and increased accountability.

FIFA, UEFA and the Organising Committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are among the 37 founder members of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights’ Advisory Council, as is the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – an organisation that has made progress after being accused in 2016 of not doing enough to protect the rights of migrant workers.

Read the full article here.

Carbon Reduction in the Center of Attention of the Olympics

By Around the Rings


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More than four years after Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, verified carbon reduction from projects initiated to balance the carbon footprint of the event has amounted to 2,752,803 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), more than five times the commitment made by The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) to the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee in Dow’s role as the Games’ Official Carbon Partner.

Dow was also the Official Carbon Partner of Rio 2016 and in this capacity, Dow delivered the committed 500,000 tonnes of CO2e, balancing the estimated direct footprint of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, and an additional 733,677 tonnes of CO2e towards the broader aspirational goal of the Olympic Games ahead of the expected time frame. These data and status reports on the Olympic carbon reduction programs are published in a new carbon report specifically related to Dow’s collaborations with the Olympic Movement.

Sochi 2014 was the first Olympic Games to have the direct carbon footprint of the Organizing Committee mitigated even before the event’s Opening Ceremony while Rio 2016 had the most comprehensive carbon mitigation program, reaching beyond Brazil to introduce low carbon technologies across Latin America.

Dr. Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, Technology & Sustainability Director for Dow Olympic & Sports Solutions, said, “This report transparently highlights the results of our work – both successes and learnings – and outlines our aspiration for a global and even more impactful program. The legacy of these programs goes well beyond the verified results to create broader industry impact during the many discussions with customers and experts throughout the implementation of these projects. Dow’s partnership with the Olympic Movement is showing the world that science and innovation in collaboration can deliver substantial environmental benefits and compelling business cases.”

Read the full article here.

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