World champion Sturla Holm Lægreid (25) and the Norwegian Biathlon Union make an appeal to the government – and receive praise from Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stür (62) in return.
Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation. There are other, much worse consequences than not allowing skating, Lægreid tells VG, but we athletes have to focus on that.
– What are you doing yourselves for the environment?
– We’re not good role models. Being a top athlete isn’t good for the environment. We travel a lot. We eat a lot of food because we exercise a lot. It would probably be hypocritical to say that the environment matters, but we should try to shine a light on who we are can an act. We try to find a golden mean between performing as best as possible and being best for the environment.
The Secretary General of the Norwegian Biathlon Federation, Morten Djupvik (47), on Sunday called for a more aggressive policy on the part of the government to reverse climate change. The association itself initiated the “Snow Crystal Project”.
Holm Legrid won four gold medals during the water course in Pokluca, Slovenia in 2021. And last weekend it rained during the World Cup in the same venue. When the 25-year-old was interviewed by VG, he was in Ruhpolding, Germany. The only reason it is possible to hold competitions there is the artificial snow, which requires large amounts of energy to produce.
– The skiing itself is relatively good, but it is very clear that there is no trace of snow here. There is spring weather in the middle of January. It’s warm. There will always be ups and downs from year to year, but it feels special when there is no snow in another snowy place. It’s a hot record, says Lægreid.
When the country campers arrived in Oberstdorf in Germany earlier in January, Johannes Hosflute Klapow was shocked In the face of a heat of 16 degrees.
In front of the VG, General Secretary Djupvik refers to a report from 2021 by the independent foundation Det Norske Veritas. It states that Norway probably will not reach its climate targets.
“Norway has ambitious climate targets that entail a 55 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, as well as a net zero emissions by 2050. However, our projections show that Norway will likely be able to reduce 24 Only 79 percent of emissions by 2030 (Figure 1) and 79 percent of emissions by 2050.” The report says.
Therefore, Djupvik is now asking the government to act faster and develop reliable action plans.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storr praised the commitment of the Ski Throwers Association.
To solve the climate crisis, we depend on everyone’s contribution. Poorer skiers may not be the most serious consequence of climate change, but in a country where skiing is as robust as here in Norway, it becomes further illustration of the challenges we have to solve. All future generations should also have the opportunity to “be born with skates on their feet.” That’s why I’m glad the Figure Skating Association is committed, Støre tells VG.
The government is ambitious in its climate policy. We have increased the target of reducing emissions to at least 55 percent by 2030. We increased the CO2 tax, increased requirements for sales of biofuels, continued our investment in green shipping and promoted green industry. We will play on a team with the Biathlon Federation and anyone else who supports an ambitious climate policy, says the Prime Minister, without commenting on the report to Det Norske Veritas in this case.
VG mentioned recently The climate changes in popular winter sports venues. Holm Liegrid tests him up close.
– We are experiencing it now, especially in Central Europe. The weather is abnormally hot and the conditions are very bad. Huge amounts of artificial snow were used both in France and here in Germany to be able to stage the races, says the 25-year-old, who is second in the World Cup overall.
– What do you think about using artificial snow, which requires a lot of energy to produce?
– I understand that it is a necessary evil. The alternative is to cancel or move somewhere else. I understand that the organizers want to keep their events.
At the same time, Holm-Legrid believes that everyone should think smart and long-term to reduce the consequences for the environment.
– If you can store more ice and use it instead, that would be a better solution.
Holm Leggerd understands that the number one priority for athletes is to do what is necessary to perform at their best. This includes, among other things, a lot of travel, preferably with the latest equipment, and competitions on artificial snow.
– But I noticed that today’s youth, who got more of this through their mother’s milk, are very concerned about the environment in general. They can do more. They are much better than me, who is almost 50 years old, General Secretary Djupvik told VG.
Everyone is required to take responsibility.
I’m no expert on sustainability or climate, but if we’re going to be successful at saving snow, we have to make some choices. The Biathlon Federation can in no way save the world, but I hope and believe that through our great athletes who are ambassadors, we can help shine a light on a very important and pertinent issue.
What are you doing concretely for the environment?
– We are at a stage where we choose three or four of the United Nations sustainability goals that we want to work on. The Secretary-General said: We want sport to make a positive contribution.
Djupvik believes that sports should consider where, when and how competitions are organized to reduce travel and litter.
– The way winter has turned, it’s hard to do without producing snow. Then we have to do it in the most energy efficient way possible. We already have cooperation with Skiforbundet on different solutions. Then we can reuse the equipment and exchange nights for skis and clothes. Things can be inherited. We look for solutions, knowing we are part of the problem. Moving forward, we want to be part of the solution.
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