FIS announced this week that the international governing body has signed on to a United Nations climate change initiative.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Sports for Climate Action initiative calls for sports across the athletic spectrum to acknowledge their role and responsibility in recognizing sports’ impact on climate change, as well as advocating for more climate-friendly policies and a safer planet for the future.
FIS’s announcement comes seven months after controversial comments made by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper thrust the organization into the spotlight. Kasper expressed his skepticism of “so-called climate change” and a preference to work with authoritarian governments over environmental advocates in an interview with Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger in February. The paper was covering a story on the 2022 Winter Olympics being awarded to Beijing, China.
Kasper later apologized and said his comments were not meant to be taken literally after a slew of negative media coverage and an outpouring of criticism from athletes and climate advocacy organizations like Protect Our Winters condemned his comments and called for his resignation.
“This is an important and clear step for FIS to play its role in combating climate change,” Kasper said of the signing. “The Framework provides sports organizations with tangible guidance via its five principles to help sports organizations serve as role models in sustainability.”
In total, 80 sports organizations around the world as well as the organizing committees for the next three Olympics have agreed to abide by the Sports for Climate Action Framework.