Paris Olympics organisers to learn from Commonwealth Games

Paris Olympics organisers say they will learn from Birmingham’s approach to hosting the Commonwealth Games as they attempt to dramatically reduce the event’s environmental impact.

Birmingham 2022 was praised for “setting a high standard” and going further than previous major events.

Paris 2024 wants its emissions to be 50% lower than the 2012 and 2016 Games.

“With Birmingham, we are bound by a shared vision,” said Georgina Grenon, sustainability director for Paris 2024.

“That vision is of aiming to deliver a spectacular celebration, showcasing the best of our cities and harnessing the power of sports to unite and create long-lasting benefits for society, but also taking care of the impact that these events are going to leave behind.

“Paris, the Olympics and Paralympic Games, are the world’s biggest event and we are facing humanity’s biggest challenges. So we have set for ourselves the ambition of setting a new model for these Games so that we are aligned with this modern world and what society is asking.

“In concrete objectives, we are reducing our emissions by 50% compared to the average of London 2012 and Rio 2016. We will also offset all of the unavoidable emissions. We want to be the first Games to be fully aligned with the Paris Agreement. In terms of climate ambitions, that is very important.”

The Paris Agreement united almost all the world’s nations – for the first time – in a single aim to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming.

Agreements were made to “pursue efforts” to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C, and to keep them “well below” 2.0 above pre-industrial times.

Historically, major sporting events have had significant environmental impacts. Construction of venues, as well as travel, energy and food are the biggest contributors to any sport’s carbon footprint. (BBC)

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