IOC cites climate change for delay in selecting next Winter Olympics host

The International Olympic committee this week decided to delay the selection of the 2030 Winter Olympics host city, citing concerns over climate change and the impact it is having on snow and ice sports.

In a statement, the IOC explained that its Future Host Winter Commission needed more time to assess the next host destination after a report to the executive board led to “a wider discussion on climate change, sustainable winter sport, and future opportunities and challenges.”

“Upon the request of the commission, the executive board decided to give the commission more time to study all these factors and opportunities to make the best possible decisions about future hosting.”

The host city was originally scheduled to be announced after the 2023 IOC session.

Octavian Morariu, head of the Future Host Winter Commission, said: “The new, flexible approach to electing Olympic hosts was designed so the IOC could respond swiftly and effectively to ever-changing global circumstances, for the benefit of the athletes, all Olympic Games participants and the whole sports movement.”

The report by the commission proposed that the Olympic Winter Games be rotated between different cities and regions and suggested that potential hosts would have to prove temperatures beneath zero over a 10-year period during the month of February, the Winter Games traditional slot.

IOC’s Olympic Games director Christophe Dubi said that discussions about this had not been finalised. 

A potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games is also understood to be on the table.

Three potential host cities, which according to media speculation are Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver, were informed about the postponement.