The organisers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games have revealed that its ice venues will be equipped with natural CO2 refrigeration systems that will decrease the overall carbon footprint of the event.
The ice venue cooling system, which has no impact on the environment, will be used at the speed skating, figure skating and short track venues, as well as the ice hockey training centres. A low global warming potential refrigerant will also be installed at the ice hockey and curling venues.
The implementation of the system will mark the first time the technology is used in China and at the Olympics.
According to an official release the move will lead to a reduction of carbon emissions equal to the yearly footprint of almost 3,900 cars. Apparently a similar carbon reduction could also be achieved by planting 1.2 million trees.
“This is a landmark decision which could potentially help address the issue of climate change, both in China and even globally,” said Juan Antonio Samaranch, chair of the IOC coordination commission for the Games. “We are pleased to see that the IOC’s close collaboration with Beijing 2022 has resulted in such an important outcome.”
The decision, which was guided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), came as the Beijing 2022 organising committee became the latest of close to 40 sporting organisations to join the UN Sports for Climate Action framework.
The initiative, which has already signed up the organisers of the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympics, is led by the IOC and encourages the global sports community to contribute to the fight against climate change.