In another step towards creating sustainability and environmental awareness through sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has declared that it will begin rewarding National Federations (NFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) around the world for their efforts to combat climate change and carbon emissions.
The initiative, launched via a partnership with chemical giant Dow, an official partner of the IOC, is aimed to help persuade more organizations in the Olympic Movement to take “real and tangible” action to address and mitigate climate change.
The exact type of reward was not disclosed in the IOC’s press release, though the first honorees will be recognized at the IF Forum in Lausanne in October.
Michelle Lemaitre, the IOC’s head of sustainability, said of the incentives, “We consider climate change to be one of the biggest emergencies humanity has ever faced, and the IOC wants to ensure that the Olympic Movement addresses it in an impactful way.”
According to the IOC, NFs and NOCs will be encouraged to combat climate in a myriad of ways:
The portfolio of offsets, covering a total of 250,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, will include a diverse set of climate solutions, from conserving ecosystems and avoiding deforestation to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The projects will be implemented across multiple jurisdictions, including the Americas, Africa and Asia, and will comply with standards approved by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) *.
* – The ICROA is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing credibility and quality for voluntary carbon offsets.
Sustainability is one of the three pillars of the Olympic Agenda 2020 (alongside accountability and youth), the IOC’s “roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement,” which aims to make all future editions of the Olympic Games environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. Whereas previous Games, such as the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics, left their hosts in economic hardship one the Flame was extinguished, Olympic Agenda 2020 aims to never allow the Games to leave a host in such a state. Whether Olympic Agenda 2020’s measures prove successful will not be known until after the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games have ended, and likely not until the conclusions of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the 2024 Summer Olympic in Paris.