Environment

Petition demands urgent climate action from FIS

A petition started by Protect Our Winters (POW), cites pictures of excavator shovels digging into the Theodul Glacier in Zermatt and alleges this alteration to the glacier is to prepare the slopes for FIS’s early season World Cup ski races.

The International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) is the world’s highest governing body for international winter sports. It is responsible for the Olympic disciplines of Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing, and snowboarding.

A petition started on Oct. 19 by Protect Our Winters (POW), titled “FIS: commit to climate action now!!” cites pictures of excavator shovels digging into the Theodul Glacier in Zermatt, Switzerland, and bulldozers demolishing glacier ice in Solden as the triggering event for the petition. In the petition, POW alleges this alteration to the glacier is to prepare the slopes for FIS’s early season World Cup ski races.

Protect Our Winters Switzerland shared in a post, “Heavy works are currently underway on the Theodul Glacier in Zermatt to prepare for the Ski World Cup. Last year, the same competition was canceled due to a lack of snow. This year, the resources deployed to ensure that the event actually takes place are beyond the bounds of acceptability and common sense.”

DayFR Euro reports that David Taugwalder, media manager of the World Cup organizing committee in Switzerland, said, “We have taken note of the accusations and categorically reject them.” Taugwalder goes on to say that the work being done on the glacier is a safety measure. He said: “It’s about filling the crevices with ice and snow to make them secure.”

The petition from POW claims the FIS is scheduling races far too early in the season. POW also cites a letter written last season by over 500 active FIS athletes. The goal of the open letter was to encourage FIS to take a leading role on climate and start showing progressive organizational action. Based on what POW believes is a lack of action, the petition states, “It is clear that FIS has done far too little to be the climate leader we need at this critical time.”

At the time of publishing, the petition has 17,393 signatures with a goal of 25,000 signatures.

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