Athletes Call for Carbon Neutral 2010 Olympics

Media release from the David Suzuki Foundation:

February 5, 2009 – More than 70 of Canada’s top Olympic and national team athletes are
calling on the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) to make the 2010 Winter Games carbon
neutral.

“We’re encouraging VANOC to lead by example and use the inspirational
power of the Olympics.  Let’s show the world that together we can put
effective climate change solutions into action,” said Adam Kreek,
Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist in rowing.

VANOC CEO John Furlong has publicly stated that climate change is at
the top of VANOC’s environmental agenda, and that VANOC’s goal is to
hold a carbon neutral Games.  “The good news is that the cost of
meeting VANOC’s commitment is affordable at an estimated 0.3 per cent
of the Games’ total budget. And this is an excellent opportunity for an
Olympic sponsor,” said Deborah Carlson, Climate Change Specialist with
the David Suzuki Foundation.

With just one year to go, time is running out for VANOC to announce a
plan to deal with the climate impact of the Games. The athletes, many
of whom will be competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics, have addressed
their concerns in an open letter to VANOC CEO John Furlong.

“Throughout my 15-year career as a cross-country skier, I have seen the
seasons becoming less predictable, and races being cancelled more
frequently due to lack of snow, said Sara Renner, Olympic cross-country
ski silver medalist for Canada. “I am concerned about the future of the
sports we love, but also about the next generation of Canadians, who
will be left to deal with even more serious climate change impacts if
we don’t act now,” added Renner.

Visit the David Suzuki Foundation, and download a media backgrounder about a carbon neutral 2010 Winter Games.
 
To read the athletes’ letter, or view a public sign-on letter to VANOC:
www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/Projects/Olympics.

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