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  • Olympic Hosts Back IOC Climate Initiative


    (ATR) Three of the next four Olympic cities have thrown their weight behind a new IOC partnership on climate issues.

    Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and Prince Albert (Transition Monaco Forum)
    But Beijing’s support is notably absent from an IOC release trumpeting its work on climate transition and a fresh agreement with the C40 Cities group.

    C40 Cities, which connects 96 cities to take climate action, represents 700-plus million citizens and one quarter of the global economy. Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who played a key role in the Paris 2024 bid campaign, chairs the group.

    IOC member Prince Albert, chair of the IOC’s sustainability and legacy commission, announced the partnership on Tuesday alongside Hidalgo and C40 officials at the inaugural Transition Forum in Monaco.

    C40 and the IOC plan to work with interested cities, candidate cities and Olympic hosts to help them achieve their sustainability objectives, which is one of IOC president Thomas Bach’s strategic goals.

    While representatives of Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 have backed the new climate initiative, there is no comment championing the cause from Beijing 2022 or the Chinese capital’s mayor.

    Beijing is one of the world’s worst cities for air pollution. China’s ministry of ecology and environment noted in a Reuters report earlier in June that the concentration of small breathable particles, known as PM2.5, rose 8 percent to 54 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing in May.

    With a reported 5.97 million cars registered in Beijing as of April, air pollution is one of Beijing’s biggest problems. As of Tuesday, the city’s scored 158 and was listed as “unhealthy” according to the Air Quality Index.

    Beiing 2022 Winter Olympics officials pledged to tackle air pollution issues in their successful campaign to stage the Games.

    Beijing 2022 is not part of the climate agreement (Transition Monaco Forum)
    Prince Albert said the C40 agreement was “a natural and fantastic opportunity” given that Tokyo, Beijing, Paris and Los Angeles are part of the C40 network.

    “Our goal is to make the Olympic Games best fit the long-term needs and objectives of the host cities. That includes incorporating sustainability in all aspects of planning for and delivering the Olympic Games,” he said.

    “By signing this MOU, we will be able to better assist current and future host cities of the Olympic Games in achieving their climate change goals by utilising the expertise and experience of the C40, and for both parties to showcase related initiatives and results.”

    C40 chair Hidalgo emphasized that hosting the Olympics “is a unique privilege for any city, and provides an amazing opportunity to accelerate the climate and air quality initiatives that mayors need to implement for the future of their citizens.”

    Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, said the Japanese capital would be climate responsible in delivering the Games: “We will work with the Tokyo 2020 organising committee to demonstrate to the world that Tokyo works integrally on the environmental, social and economic aspects of 21st-century sustainable development, contributing to the achievement of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.”

    Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics would showcase the city’s sustainable values. “Climate change knows no boundaries, and only through global cooperation can we overcome this global challenge. Working together, the IOC and C40 can use the Olympic moment to help our planet heal and our people grow,” he said.

    Olympic Solidarity Athlete Forums

    More continental athlete forums will be staged in 2018, the IOC announced following a meeting of the Olympic Solidarity Commission in Lausanne.

    Chairman Sheikh Ahmad today met with the leaders of the IOC Athletes’ Commission along with the chairs of the five continental athletes’ associations.

    The group reiterated the need to use the forums to debate important topics such as how to strengthen the representative nature of athletes within the sporting structures in the world, to fight doping and to ensure a high level of services provided by the IOC and the continental associations to athletes. These will be priority agenda items at all future forums.

    The fight against doping and education was highlighted as the most important area of work for the athletes’ groups.

    Kirsty Coventry, chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, said: “The Olympic Solidarity continental athlete forums offer one more opportunity to athletes to voice their opinions on matters that concern them.

    “We are pleased that today’s meeting has strengthened the unity and collaboration between the IOC and continental associations’ athletes’ commissions. The ongoing objective of the Olympic Movement must be to strengthen the voice of the athletes worldwide.”

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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