Carbon Offsets Daily

Daily carbon offset news, insight, community.

VANOC reveals plans for carbon offsets; sets target


| Sourced From The Globe And Mail.com |

VANCOUVER — The 2010 Olympics are turning to the private sector to help offset carbon emissions during the Winter Games.

Organizers hope to sign a sponsorship deal with a company that would, among other things, invest in green technologies and programs to counterbalance the amount of carbon the Games will create.

“We’re going to put 300,000 tonnes out there into the atmosphere, and we’re going to invest in projects that reduce carbon by an equivalent amount,” Linda Coady, the vice-president of sustainability for the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, said yesterday.

VANOC had already pledged to offset the Games’s emissions, but the announcement was the first time it committed to a target.

Still, without an official sponsor, and less than 10 months to go until the Games, there remains no actual plan to neutralize the impact of the Games.

The head of the Olympic committee, John Furlong, said VANOC is committed to following through.

“We’re very confident we’re going to have partners in this, but we’re not going to say we have them until we have them,” he said.

Overall, the organizing committee hopes to offset the emissions created by the 27-day period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games plus travel by participants and spectators.

While previous Olympics have run offset programs, they usually focused on the 17-day period of the Olympic Games.

The estimated cost of offsetting the emissions generated by the 2010 Games is $4.5-million, with emissions currently trading at about $15 a tonne.

But organizers say emissions may be lower than the 300,000-tonne estimate set by the David Suzuki Foundation in 2007.

They say that’s due to state-of-the-art technologies used in the design of Games venues that conserve as much energy as possible, as well as their own efforts to cut back emissions.

Paul Lingl, a researcher with the foundation who helped come up with the original figure, said he welcomed yesterday’s announcement.

“We do think there is a role for carbon offsets, but they have to be high quality, and they have to meet really high standards,” he said.

In their announcement, organizers said they would be using the standards set by the Pacific Carbon Trust, a newly created B.C. Crown corporation.

It’s unclear whether the standards set by the trust will be as high as the gold-standard offsets set initially by the World Wildlife Federation and the United Nations.

The Olympic announcement came as world and sport leaders meet in Vancouver to discuss the role sport can play in environmental change.

“What the [International Olympic Committee] has done, what the IOC environmental commission has done and indeed what the Olympic movement has embraced is, for me, a return to the original Olympic spirit,” said Prince Albert II of Monaco, who addressed the conference.

Critics of the Olympic movement charge that sustainability efforts undertaken by VANOC don’t add up to much.

A protest was scheduled to take place outside the conference later on Monday to highlight some of what the Olympic Resistance Network says are the worst environmental outcomes of hosting a Games.

They say the emissions generated by the Games are more like 3.5 million tonnes.

Without drastic action on climate change, there may not even be Winter Olympics in the future, the David Suzuki Foundation suggested in a study it released yesterday.

Canadian snowboarder Justin Lamoureux said he’s already seeing the impacts as he loses training time and space thanks to melting glaciers.

“Imagine a Canada with no pond hockey, no snow days, no skiing,” he said.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

© 2009 Carbon Offsets Daily. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by Wordpress.