At the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), currently being held in Katowice (Poland), Paris 2024 yesterday announced its intention to join Sports for Climate Action, a UNFCCC initiative that is designed to encourage the sporting world to cut greenhouse gas emissions generated by the events it organises.
After becoming the first Olympic bid committee to obtain the ISO 20121 standard (event sustainability management systems), Paris 2024 is playing a pioneering role in the Sports for Climate Action initiative, which is sponsored by the UNFCCC with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The initiative involves five key commitments:
- To promote more responsible environmental practices;
- To reduce the impact of sporting events on the climate;
- To educate people about climate issues;
- To promote more sustainable and responsible consumption habits;
- To promote climate action through communication campaigns.
The Paris 2024-UNFCCC letter of commitment will be officially signed in early 2019.
Paris 2024, zero carbon Games
Paris 2024 are the first Olympic and Paralympic Games aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Games concept will cut carbon emissions by more than half compared to London, largely due to the fact that 95% of its infrastructures are already existing or temporary in nature.
Among other key factors that will lead to a significant reduction of its carbon footprint is the use of the Ile-de-France public transport system; and 100% clean transport to events for athletes and staff during the Games.
Paris 2024 intends to go even further and is working on a series of measures that should lead to additional reductions in its emissions:
- By leveraging the Games as a testing ground for sustainable innovation: with the use of low-carbon materials in permanent buildings (Athlete and Media villages, which will largely be redeployed as housing after the Games); and the use of recyclable materials in the construction of temporary structures.
- By organising the Games differently: making use of short supply circuits; reducing food waste; recycling, etc.
Finally, as there are some Games-related carbon emissions that cannot be avoided (flights, the organisation of competitions, etc.), Paris 2024 is committed to compensate them, thus engaging to be "Zero Carbon Games"
While London 2012 marked a turning point in terms of environmental excellence with the creation of the ISO 20121 standard, the Paris 2024 Games seek to strengthen and to extend the scope of sustainability of major international sporting events, as stated by Georgina Grenon, Paris 2024’s Environmental Excellence Director, who is representing the LOC at COP24.
Paris 2024 President, Tony Estanguet: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the most popular and universal sporting event in the world. As an organising committee, we have a special responsibility to play a part in raising awareness about climate change and ensuring the Games leave a sustainable legacy that benefits future generations. Our environmental project is ambitious and our commitment to the Sports for Climate Action initiative represents a new phase in the creation of international standards for the organisation of sports events and in engaging athletes, political and economic stakeholders and the general public in climate action. We are delighted that the IOC is supporting our approach.”