International Olympic Committee Pledges Reduction of Greenhouse Gases

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach attends a press conference following an Olympic summit on June 21, 2016 in Lausanne.For Russia's track and field stars, the meeting of Olympic executives may offer the last chance to compete at the Games in Rio de Janeiro. Last week, the International Association …
AFP/FABRICE COFFRINI

On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pledged to reduce both its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over nine years.

During a virtual meeting, the IOC claimed its goal announcement was an effort to come into compliance with the Paris Agreement favored by many nations, The Hill wrote.

The games insisted it could cut emissions by 30 percent by 2024, calling the goal a part of an “immediate reduction target.” The remainder of the 45 percent would be done over the following six years.

Still, some of these purported cuts in emissions will be by so-called “offsets” instead of actual cuts. The IOC will establish the Olympic Forest Project, which the committee claims will make the games “climate positive.”

“The IOC reported its average carbon footprint between 2016 and 2019 reached about 53,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. But all upcoming Olympic games, including the postponed games in Tokyo, have pledged to maintain carbon neutrality,” the Hill reported.

“As the leader of the Olympic Movement, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to protect our climate,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. “This ambitious target puts the IOC in line with the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and helps to advance action on climate change.”

The 2020 games were postponed until this year thanks to the pandemic. But the games are still scheduled to go as planned in July this year in Tokyo, Japan. However, some wonder if the games may yet be scotched after Japan declared a health emergency this month over the virus. And Japan has reported that Tokyo is its worst COVID hot zone.

With questions raging over whether Tokyo will be able to host the games, the State of Florida recently threw its hat in the ring as an alternative site.

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