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Olympic ‘game changer’ boosts sustainability in sport — Global Issues


UN News: As the Olympics continues to develop, each in phrases of sports activities and participation, are there any issues and discussions on the affect on the surroundings?

Tania Braga: The Games will not be rising. There is a restrict in the numbers of athletes that may take part, and even with new sports activities, the entire variety of athletes stays fixed to keep away from the Games changing into too massive. The IOC focuses closely on limiting the Games’ footprint. There aren’t any new venues required for internet hosting. The focus is on utilizing present location and solely constructing new ones if very clear long-term wants are in place. The 2028 Los Angeles Games are going for “radical reuse”. That means utilizing 100 per cent of present or momentary venues. In this regard, the 2024 Paris Games is presently at 95 per cent.

IOC has at all times been involved about assessing and minimizing the Games’ affect on the surroundings and native communities. We have constructed a sequence of suggestions and necessities to assist every organizer, host metropolis, or area to adapt to challenges. We have a saying that guides every thing we do: The host metropolis or area doesn’t want to alter to obtain the Games, however the Games ought to adapt to the host metropolis or area. We have some necessities, together with certification for sustainability administration and 50-per-cent emissions reductions, aligned with the Paris Agreement on local weather change. Adapting to native wants whereas making a most optimistic affect on communities and decreasing the native unfavourable environmental affect – that’s the spirit.

UN News: How does the IOC consider a bunch metropolis’s success in assembly the IOC’s sustainability objectives, and if it’s not, what sensible motion can the IOC take?

Tania Braga: Hosts should have a coverage, technique, and plan and should monitor, measure, and report in a clear manner, utilizing present worldwide requirements. When that doesn’t exist, we collaborate with different organizations to create one. This work is sort of concluding for the 2024 Paris Games, which shall be a pilot for utilizing this system and consensus. No two Games editions are the identical. Tokyo and Paris are two completely different societies, and we have to take into account every host’s geographical, political, social, or financial context. It’s achieved utilizing an strategy that features participating organizers, host cities and areas, and native stakeholders to grasp what’s necessary for them to measure. Currently, all of them have sustainability studies, that are an obligation in IOC host contracts.

UN News: Is the Olympic Agenda 2020 the place the greening of the Olympics philosophy got here from, and when did sustainability and legacy reporting requirement begin?

Tania Braga: Agenda 2020 turned an actual recreation changer in the best way the IOC chooses the hosts and manages the Games. Sustainability was current on a voluntary foundation as early because the 1994 Lillehammer Games. With Agenda 2020, sustainability turned a part of the guts of the Games. As the local weather disaster is accelerating, we have to reply strongly. IOC addresses different world points, resembling weight problems and its hyperlink with the shortage of bodily exercise, which we all know from World Health Organization (WHO) information. Over 5 million deaths may very well be averted yearly if folks have been extra energetic. We now require hosts to ascertain lasting insurance policies to deal with such considerations. At the Paris Games, 75 per cent of suppliers are small and middle-sized enterprises, key actors in addressing financial inequalities. It’s actually spectacular they reached this stage when the benchmark is round 10 per cent.

Unsplash/Erik Zünder

Tokyo Olympics is about to start out on 23 July 2021, after a 12 months’s delay as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

UN News: Are there sustainability objectives which might be notably difficult for host cities, and why is that this?

Tania Braga: I believe every version of the Games could have a unique set of challenges. For some, they are going to be extra targeted. Some areas are crucial and at all times current for us, for instance, well being and wellbeing, local weather, biodiversity, and mobility, and the way hosts can contribute to accelerating native insurance policies on sustainable cities and bringing new expertise.

The Tokyo Games accelerated power insurance policies in Japan, demonstrating how they may make steps in direction of a low-carbon economic system by powering the athletes’ village with hydrogen from clear, blue sources. Paris is targeted on the problem of bodily inactivity, utilizing the Games as a chance to push the French Government to undertake a brand new nationwide coverage for elementary college college students to get an extra half-hour of day by day bodily exercise.

UN News: What are among the measures being taken to alter or deal with the state of affairs of the challenges that some cities are going through?

Tania Braga: Our strategy is to enter a dialogue to offer assist and provides professional recommendation. Since 2012, a technique has been used to calculate the carbon footprint of the occasion. IOC’s affect encourages others in the sport world to take motion. IOC is partnering with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the Sports for Climate Action initiative and has mobilized its community of 31 worldwide federations, who should decide to 50-per-cent emissions reductions. These are some examples of measures and even of utilizing simply the ability and the visibility of the Olympic Games to deliver points to the eye of the worldwide viewers. We have an viewers; for the Tokyo Games, there have been 3.5 billion viewers.

A special 'Scoring for the Goals' projection at UN Headquarters showcases the power of sport to unite the world and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

UN News/Abdelmonem Makki

A particular ‘Scoring for the Goals’ projection at UN Headquarters showcases the ability of sport to unite the world and assist obtain the Sustainable Development Goals.

UN News: Sustainability is likely one of the three pillars of the Olympic Agenda 2020. How is that this going to affect Olympic Games going ahead? And what evokes you?

Tania Braga: Going ahead, we’ll see the total affect as a result of the Games have a protracted life cycle; Paris was elected seven years in the past, and Los Angeles, 11 years earlier than. Paris would be the first version to have the total affect of Agenda 2020 after which we will see the outcomes. There are a whole lot of issues nonetheless to work on, and we proceed to collaborate with editions. It’s an evolving agenda. What evokes me is the chance to drive optimistic adjustments and to affect this alteration with completely different organizations in the community.

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