You might have heard that Brisbane is, in all likelihood, set to host the Olympic Games in 2032. And while this is a big win for Brisbane it could also be a big win for the planet, since the 2032 Games will be the first climate positive summer Olympics.
Sporting events in Australia, and across the planet, are under threat from climate change. Summer sports, already hazardous with high temperatures and potentially noxious conditions such as the smoke haze created by the Black Summer fires, stand to suffer further with heatwaves in Melbourne and Sydney likely to reach 50˚C by the year 2040, making outdoor sport untenable.
The sporting industry isn’t just a witness of climate change but a contributor, too, with estimates placing sports’ global emissions on par with those of Spain. And while sport is a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, its star power and command of global attention also make it a promising advocate for solutions.
The promise of a climate positive Olympics—and all those following 2030—is a step in the right direction, but only if it’s followed up with successive steps to make tangible and realised change. So what does being climate positive mean? How does it happen? And who’s responsible?