Why a sustainable’ Olympics remains so elusive

China’s big promises for the most sustainable Winter Olympics in history are colliding with reality.

On The Carbon Copy podcast this week:

For the first time ever, the Winter Olympics will rely entirely on artificial snow. 

It’s a reality that could become more common as the planet warms — and it has environmental experts concerned. 

Nearly 50 million gallons of water are being piped in to serve the Beijing Games, potentially setting reserves in this water-stressed region back by up to hundreds of years.

Meanwhile, China maintains that this year’s event is the most environmentally sound Winter Olympics on record. But there’s no system to track those claims, and some researchers say the Olympics are actually getting worse for the environment over time.

This week on The Carbon Copy, we discuss why claims about the sustainability of the Olympics often amount to little more than greenwashing. 

Guest: Christian Shepherd, China correspondent for The Washington Post. (Read his article about the Beijing Games here.)

The Carbon Copy is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

The Carbon Copy is supported by Atmos Financial. Atmos offers FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts that only invest in climate-positive assets like renewables, green construction and regenerative agriculture. Modern banking for climate-conscious people. Get an account in minutes at joinatmos.com.

The Carbon Copy is also supported by Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. The Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators and changemakers driving our climate-positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.