Paris Olympics Attempt Climate-Friendly Planning for More Sustainability

The 2024 Olympic Games are set to take place this summer in Paris, France. This time around there is a three-year difference between the last Summer Olympics, which were postponed in Toyko until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paris aims to hold the most “sustainable” Olympic Games this year, however, organizers of the games have stated that plans of location are not perfect. 

Paris has planned to have all surfing sports of the games on the Pacific island of Tahiti, a French territory known for its world-class waves. French officials of the Olympics have their eyes set on the Teahupo’o reef of the island.  However, the people of Tahiti oppose the location due to the building plans of a view tower that would be essential to scoring the competition. Tahitians believe the new tower would cause harm to marine life. However, Paris Olympic officials countered the argument as the Paris Olympics’s director of environmental excellence Georgina Grenon stated that officials have calculated the project, saying there would be less impact on Tahiti than other metropolitan areas. Another key emissions source also argued that due to the location being remote, there would not be many in-person spectators and that building projects would therefore be minimal. 

The French official’s goal for the 2024 Olympics is to reduce as many carbon emissions as possible, which is the leading cause of climate change. Organizers’s goal is to limit carbon emissions down to 1.58 million metric tons of CO2. Organizers believe that remote locations such as Tahiti would increase the number of at-home viewers, which would lead to less flight travel and ultimately less carbon emissions. However, officials predict that there will still be a large amount of emissions produced, equal to about 1.3 million people flying a one-way flight from New York to Pairs on a Boeing 787 jet. This still would be a lot less emissions produced than previous games.