Paris Olympics promises climate action, experts remain sceptical

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Paris Olympics promises climate action, experts remain sceptical

Paris Olympics promises climate action, experts remain sceptical

The 2024 Paris Olympics organizers pledged to take “unprecedented” climate action, cutting the carbon footprint of the previous Games in half and funding initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions that warm the earth.

But experts are still dubious, particularly in light of the organizers’ abandonment of their promise to impose a strict cap on the total carbon cost.

The three-week event is estimated to produce almost one-third of the heat-trapping emissions due to transportation, as millions of athletes, fans, employees, and journalists will be arriving in Paris by plane.
In order to host the event, the organizers generally used temporary or pre-existing infrastructure rather than carbon-intensive building materials like steel and concrete, which come with a large environmental cost.

However, the earlier pledge to impose a firm cap on emissions at 1.58 million tons of CO2 equivalent was abandoned, which hurt the Games’ sustainable credentials.

“It has been abandoned, the quantified target that was a big step forward compared to previous Games and announced with great fanfare,” stated Martin Muller of Lausanne University’s Institute of Geography and Sustainability.

“An obligation cannot be verified in the absence of a quantifiable goal.”

Rather, the organizers pledged that the emissions from the Olympics will be half of the average emissions during the London and Rio de Janeiro Games in 2012 and 2016, or 3.9 million tonnes of CO2, according to Muller.

contribution to climate

The Games will, according to the organizers, make a “positive contribution to the climate” by sponsoring initiatives that avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to offset pollution.

After more criticism and revision, the organizers changed the wording to state that the Games will “support climate contribution projects that cut and capture CO2 at levels which match the Games’ emissions that can’t be avoided.”

The organizers stated that this might include initiatives to deploy renewable energy, grow trees, or save forests, but they did not elaborate.

Kaya Axelsson stated, “It’s a great way to stay honest about an organization’s own footprint while supporting and financing progress to global net zero goals.” Framing their investments in credits as “climate contribution” rather than offsets

The revised language “doesn’t mislead the public into believing that the Games have no impact on the climate,” according to Benja Faecks of Carbon Market Watch, a nonprofit industry watchdog.

He stated, “Carbon credits should never be used to ‘compensate for emissions,’ but rather to support projects that are worth financing.”

The absence of thorough methods and monitoring caused Carbon Market Watch to previously conclude that the Games’ climate policy was “incomplete and falls short of achieving transparency.”

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