Ski Industry Backs the Climate Declaration
By Michael Schweibinz
More than 100 ski resorts across the nation have now signed on to the Climate Declaration. These iconic resorts have put their brands and their reputations behind the belief that “tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities…” and the right thing to do.
Since its launch in April, the Climate Declaration has continued to gain momentum. The Declaration is backed by Ceres and its BICEP project (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) and urges the federal government to implement policy that will help combat climate change.
Considering their vulnerabilities—as warmer and shorter winters threaten the future of their businesses—it appears to be a relatively simple choice when considering the fact that there are few industries as fragile as the ski industry when it comes to climate change.
For ski resorts, the Climate Declaration marks the turning of a new page. Historically skiing has not been a particularly sustainable industry—ski resorts draw thousands of drivers to the slopes, cut down trees, create man-made snow, and create massive carbon footprints in the high country. But ski resorts can also be influential supporters for the environment. Their economic clout gives them the power to preserve surrounding lands and wildlife. And some ski resorts are making “green” a top priority moving forward. Many have spent heavily to implement more sustainable practices and invest in wind turbines, solar panels, and renewable energy.
As ski resorts stretching from California to Maine have signed the Climate Declaration, the industry looks to be heading in a new direction. With climate change threatening an industry that employs roughly 160,000 people and generates around $12.2 billion in annual revenue, the days of sitting back to watch are over. The ski industry has taken recent impressive strides toward sustainability. Now, can our politicians act quickly enough to follow in their evaporating tracks?
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Posted: June 19, 2013