ATHLETES CALL FOR GREATER ACTION CLIMATE ACTION AND TRANSPARENCY FROM FIS
The world of competitive Snowsports is feeling the impact of climate change right now. With competitions being cancelled due to extreme weather events or lack of snow, pre-season training slopes becoming less available and increased injury rates due to poor quality, or absence of, natural snow (1) at competition sites. A new study shows that all but one of the previous 21 host cities, Sapporo, Japan, will be too warm and dry to host a safe, fair Winter Games by 2080 if we continue on the current emissions path. (1).
This loss of snowpack affects far more than our winter sports activities. Severe and unmitigated climate change could see mountain glacier ice and snow that existed in 2015 reduced by up to 80% by 2100. Putting at risk the 1.9 billion people that rely on snow or glacier melt water for their water supply (2).
FIS (Féderation Internationale de Ski) is the international ski federation and thus a globally active organisation. In addition to Alpine skiing, the FIS also control sports such as freeride, snowboarding, telemark, all Nordic sports and several others. FIS has come a long way since the presidential position was held by a climate denier. However, many feel its action on climate are too slow and too limited to match the scale of the issue, and that the actions it has taken are both overly reliant on offsets and lack the required transparency to be a leader on climate action. Questions have been raised around Mr Eliasch’s joint role as both FIS President and co-chair of Cool Earth (the organisation FIS has partnered with) as to the transparency and ease of public access to information of how its offsets are calculated.
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