Following the Swiss Olympic committee’s backing of a bid from Davos-St. Moritz last week for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, environmental organizations in Graubunden say that “green Games” in the Alps are nothing but a pipe-dream.
Swiss Info reports the group points to the lessons learned from recent Games where there was negative environmental impact and little economic spin-off for the hosts.
Stefan Grass, chair of a committee of environmental groups said, “from our experience of previous debates and votes we know that popular opposition is greater than is usually let on in this tourist canton”. He said this was important since the canton and the two municipalities of Davos and St. Moritz will have to go to the people to get their approval for financing of the Games next year.
“We are expecting 60 per cent will vote against it. Davos and St. Moritz may get approval for their local contributions. But for us the most important thing is that most people here will be against it. For the IOC (International Olympic Committee) the degree of enthusiasm on the ground is a criterion for awarding the Games”.
He added that his committee will take a critical look at the bid dossier and expects to find that the “green” parts of the proposal are not binding on the IOC and are not guaranteed to be part of a final agreement to hold the international sporting event.
Grass said, “we will campaign against the canton’s budget proposal in the coming popular vote. We hope it will be turned down, but even a 55 per cent vote in favour would be good for the environment, because the IOC will then pull out”.