Partnership leverages local expertise on clean energy and climate solutions
SALT LAKE CITY (May 5, 2023) – The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games (SLC-UT) is partnering with Utah Clean Energy, one of Utah’s foremost experts on clean energy and climate solutions, to help achieve Utah’s ambitions for a “climate positive” Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2030 or 2034.
“The effects of climate change on the Winter Games and our state cannot be ignored, and we need to take bold action today to ensure Utah remains a world-renowned winter sport destination for future generations,” said Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games. “We are eager to demonstrate to the International Olympic Committee that we can deliver a climate positive Games in 2030.”
As the IOC identifies potential hosts for future Winter Games, Bullock feels that Utah is uniquely positioned as a robust winter sports environment.
Together, SLC-UT, Utah Clean Energy, and other community partners will develop efforts to make Utah’s games “climate positive,” including building on the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact. Developed in 2020, the Compact has obtained support from leading business, government, faith and civic institutions who are focused on addressing climate and air quality issues.
“As athletes, we care deeply about winter sport and our planet,” said Utah Olympic luge silver medalist Chris Mazdzer, who in 2019 was named by the IOC as its first athlete sustainability ambassador. “This partnership with Utah Clean Energy will help provide us with a roadmap for a climate positive Games in Utah.”
To begin the pathway to achieve a climate positive Games, SLC-UT and Utah Clean Energy will collaborate on several emission-reducing areas including:
- Undertaking a “carbon budget” to estimate the emissions and impacts from the operations of the Games. The carbon budget provides the needed data to shape emission reduction strategies.
- Identifying opportunities to achieve major improvements in energy efficiency in Games facilities deploying zero-emissions transportation and electricity options to support game operations.
- Designing and collaborating with host venue communities to implement emission reducing strategies.
“As a signatory to the Climate and Clean Air Compact and Volunteer Venue Chair for the 2002 Winter Games, I see this as an opportunity to demonstrate Utah’s leadership on smart and innovative solutions to our energy and climate challenges,” said Mark Miller, trustee of the Mark and Kathie Miller Foundation.
The roots of climate and sustainability initiatives for SLC-UT were born out of the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As it looks ahead to a possible return of the Winter Games in 2030 or 2034, SLC-UT wants to both showcase winter sport in Utah as well as champion actions that will help address climate change and ensure Utah remains a premier winter sport destination.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games provide an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to climate solutions by taking decisive action to reduce emissions and modernize our energy and transportation infrastructure this decade,” said Sarah Wright, executive director of Utah Clean Energy. “We are now in a period of rapid innovation to address climate change and this partnership provides an opportunity to showcase Utah’s leadership on climate solutions on a global stage.”
About Utah Clean Energy
For over 20 years, Utah Clean Energy has spearheaded some of the most far reaching and impactful clean energy and climate policies in the West. They are recognized as Utah’s leading, expert, public interest organization, working to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency in a way that is beneficial not only for Utah’s environment and health, but our economy and long-term energy security. Utah Clean Energy is committed to creating a future that ensures healthy, thriving communities for all, empowered and sustained by clean energy. For more information visit www.utahcleanenergy.org.
About the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games
In 2018, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee selected Salt Lake City-Utah as America’s Choice for a future Winter Games. The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games was formed in 2019, composed of athletes along with business, sport, community and political leaders, working closely with potential host communities across the state. Its mission is the development and submission of a bid to the International Olympic Committee to bring a future Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games back to Utah. It is specifically focused on the 2030 or 2034 editions of the Games. The committee is a Utah 501(c)3 nonprofit whose board of directors includes a voting governing board and a non-voting strategic board as well as a number of committees that represent athletes, community members, and other stakeholders.