With U.S. set to roll back environmental standards, Paris’ Olympic bid lauded for sustainability

Olympic colors adorn the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
(Frank Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

At the same time that President Trump is set to dismantle a landmark climate effort in the U.S., the Paris Olympic bid — Los Angeles’ competition for the 2024 Summer Games — has been praised for its attention to sustainability.

Paris 2024 earned certification from the International Organization for Standardization this week because of its approach to planning the massive sporting event.

“Environmental responsibility is part of our DNA,” said Jerome Lachaze, a Paris bid committee official. “Since the beginning of the bid, we have been driven by a strong environmental ambition, in accordance with the Paris accord.”


Paris and L.A have entered the stretch run of the 2024 bidding competition, seeking to impress International Olympic Committee voters who will gather in September to select a host city.

The ISO certification involves more than environmental issues. It also takes into consideration social responsibility, cooperation with the public sector and ethical governance.

“We have devised a comprehensive project that promotes a low carbon impact, responsible management, financial transparency and a unique Games legacy,” said Tony Estanguet, co-chairman of Paris 2024. “We have the ambition to offer Games that will have a positive, lasting impact on French society and on the Olympic movement.”

The IOC’s host city contract would eventually require organizers in the selected city to meet ISO standards; Paris got out ahead of the process as a bidder.

L.A. bid leaders have similarly vowed to stage a “green” Olympics that would be sustainable because they would make use of existing venues and public transportation.

But Trump made a point of criticizing the Paris climate agreement during his presidential campaign. On Tuesday, he was expected to order the Environmental Protection Agency to back away from President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which seeks to cut emissions at power plants that account for nearly a third of the greenhouse gas released in the United States.

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