IOC delays Winter Games 2030 decision to explore climate issues
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced it will delay the award of the 2030 Winter Olympic Games in order to explore how climate-related issues can be mitigated in relation to the multi-sport event.
The hosts of the Games were expected to be awarded in September or October 2023, with Sapporo in Japan, Salt Lake City in the United States and Vancouver in Canada in the running.
However, the IOC stated that the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games had been given more time to “consult deeply with interested parties” and consider possible changes that would improve the sustainability of the event.
The IOC confirmed that one such step could be an overhaul of the hosting format, with the current bidding process potentially making way for the Games rotating between a slate of predetermined host cities that have suitable climates.
As average temperatures continue to rise worldwide, the IOC stated that it will consider a proposal that would mean prospective host cities would “need to show average minimum temperatures of below zero degrees for snow competition venues at the time of the games over a 10-year period”.
The IOC also said that “preliminary results of leading academic research, showing a potential reduction in the number of climate-reliable hosts” warranted further investigation.
IOC Member Octavian Morariu, who heads up the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games, said: “The new, flexible approach to electing Olympic hosts was designed so the IOC could respond swiftly and effectively to ever-changing global circumstances, for the benefit of the athletes, all Olympic Games participants and the whole sports movement.”
Artificial snow has been used for some Winter Games competitions since the 1980s. However, it is thought that almost all of the snow at the most recent edition of the Games, in Beijing earlier this year, was produced artificially via machines, which used 49 million gallons of chemically treated water.
The 2026 Winter Games will take place in Milan-Cortina, Italy.
Read moreInternational Olympic Committee