The city of Paris will prominently feature the Olympic rings during the Games.
The leader of Paris 2024, Tony Estanguet, voiced his ambition for next year’s event to serve as a paradigm shift in hosting the Olympics.
The Games’ organizers envision a spectacle that strikes a balance between excitement and sustainability.
With the Olympics set to commence a year from this Wednesday, Estanguet believes Paris has an opportunity to showcase a novel way of conducting the Games to the entire globe.
“We aim to illustrate how Paris and France can bring a distinct approach to the Games than what we’ve seen in the past,” he shared with Sport Newes Center.
“We need to commit to a fresh method of managing the Games.”
The Olympics are scheduled to take place in the French capital from July 26 to August 11, with the Paralympics following from August 28 to September 8.
Organizers have prioritized sustainability, setting a goal to reduce emissions by 50% compared to the 2012 and 2016 Games.
They aim to pioneer innovative practices and usher in a “new epoch in the administration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games”.
The Tokyo Olympics’ subsequent sustainability report found that the event produced between 1.96 million and 2.42 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Despite this, the 2020 event (conducted in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic) asserted that it achieved “beyond carbon neutrality” through various reduction and mitigation strategies.
The report also stated that emissions were lower by 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide as Covid-19 restrictions led to a reduction in spectators.
Estanguet, a three-time Olympic canoe champion, emphasized the necessity of changing our ways. “We need to reconsider how we decide to host games, World Championships or World Cups.
“People won’t accept distinct rules for major events versus their daily lives, which is why we’ve set the bar high regarding sustainability and conveying our message.
“We envision a spectacular celebration that concurrently demonstrates the feasibility of halving the carbon footprint. We need to establish that it is indeed possible to achieve this to ensure the future of the Games.”
Only two construction projects are required for the Games – the Athletes’ Village and the Aquatics Centre – as they are making good use of existing and temporary facilities in Paris.
Low carbon initiatives, such as replacing steel with sustainably sourced wood for the structural frame, are being implemented in the Village. The Aquatics Centre features a concave roof to minimize the space requiring heating.
Critics, however, have questioned the choice to host the surfing competition in Tahiti, a location approximately 9,760 miles (15,700km) and a 22-hour flight away from Paris.
Nevertheless, Georgina Grenon, the head of environmental excellence at Paris 2024, stated that their aspiration is to be the first Games completely in line with the Paris Agreement’s climate objectives.
The agreement binds almost every nation in a collective commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
Ambitious plans were agreed upon to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C and to ensure it remains “well below” 2.0C above pre-industrial levels.
Grenon further explained, “This is part of a different way of organizing the Games to be more sustainable. The priority is to reduce emissions. We see the event as a space for innovation to explore solutions to reduce and leave a lasting sustainable legacy.”
Paris 2024 aims to be the first games to utilize 100% renewable electricity, in stark contrast to London 2012’s use of 4 million litres of diesel to power generators.
Security remains a top concern for Estanguet, especially given recent incidents in France. He has expressed faith in their comprehensive security plan and experience.
Estanguet’s team is also closely monitoring long-term weather forecasts due to concerns of high temperatures, and are ready to adjust event times if necessary.
As for the potential participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Games, Estanguet declined to speculate.
Recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated that Russia and Belarus would not be invited to the Games. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will review the ongoing suspensions of both countries at their General Assembly in Bahrain from September 27-29.
“We should safeguard the universality of the games by allowing the IOC and IPC to make decisions regarding the participation of those countries,” he stated.
“As the Organizing Committee, we must respect those decisions and welcome the athletes who are qualified and authorized to participate in the Games.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sustainable Olympics
When will the Paris 2024 Olympics take place?
The Olympics are scheduled to take place in Paris from 26 July to 11 August, with the Paralympics following from 28 August to 8 September.
What is Paris 2024’s sustainability goal for the Olympics?
Organizers aim to make the Games both spectacular and sustainable, with a goal to have emissions 50% lower than the 2012 and 2016 Games.
What new approach does Paris 2024 Chief, Tony Estanguet, propose for the Olympics?
Tony Estanguet proposes a new model of delivering the Games, with a high focus on sustainability and innovation. He aims to demonstrate that it is possible to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of such a large event.
What measures are being taken to make the Paris 2024 Olympics more sustainable?
The organizers plan to make extensive use of existing and temporary facilities, with only two construction projects required. They also have initiatives like using sustainably sourced wood instead of steel for the Athletes’ Village’s structural frame.
What is the Paris Agreement that the Paris 2024 games aim to align with?
The Paris Agreement is a global accord that unites almost all the world’s nations in a collective commitment to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming. Paris 2024 aims to be the first Games fully aligned with its climate objectives.
How is Paris 2024 addressing security concerns for the Games?
Security remains a top concern for Paris 2024 Chief, Tony Estanguet. He has expressed faith in their comprehensive security plan and their capacity and expertise to handle any situations that may arise.