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‘Trust science’, Paris mayor boasts as city declares ‘there will be no air conditioning in Olympic athletes’ rooms ‘to cut the carbon footprint’ of summer Olympics

Reuters – March 14, 2024: There will be no air conditioning in the athletes’ rooms at Paris 2024, which has pledged to host the “greenest ever” Games. … Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo told those nations planning on installing air conditioning at the athletes’ village to “trust the science” instead… With climate scientists warning that global warming has produced more extreme weather patterns in much of the world, organisers of Paris 2024 have said they want to halve the carbon footprint compared with the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Summer Games. “I think we have to trust science on two counts. The first is what scientists are telling us about the fact that we are on the brink of a precipice. Everyone, including the athletes, must be aware of this,” said Hidalgo. “And secondly, we have to trust the scientists when they help us to construct buildings in a sober way that allows us to make do without air conditioning.” ..

Yet, the Olympic Committees from Australia, Brazil, Canada and Norway are among those who believe it will not be enough.
“Our clear wish is that there should be air-conditioning in all rooms,” the Norwegian Committee told Reuters, with Brazil saying “the heat forecast” made it “necessary to invest in renting air-conditioning units for the entire delegation”.

Associated Press in 2023: The Paris Olympics is going underground to find a way to keep athletes cool at the 2024 Games without air conditioners…The decision is part of the organizing committee’s goal to cut the carbon footprint of the Paris Games by half and stage the most sustainable Olympics to date by installing a special technology to use natural sources to keep everyone cool even during a potential heat wave. Compared to a conventional project, the carbon impact will be reduced by 45% for the Athletes Village during the construction phase and over the entire Olympic cycle, she said. …

The geothermal energy system will ensure that the temperature in the athlete apartments in the Seine-Saint-Denis suburb does not rise above 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) at night, including during a potential a heat wave, said Laurent Michaud, the director of the Olympic and Paralympic Villages. … “Despite outdoor temperatures reaching 41 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit), we had temperatures at 28 degrees (82 degrees Fahrenheit) in most of these rooms,” Michaud told The Associated Press, detailing the results of a heatwave simulation. … To keep the coolness inside, the athletes will have to follow some basic rules, he added, including making sure the window blinds are shut during the day. … Although some Olympic hopefuls have already expressed concern about the lack of air conditioning, Monnet said athletes should adapt and help contribute to fight against climate change. “We need athletes to set an example when they use the buildings,” Monnet said. “We can build the most virtuous village we want, it is also the use that will be made of it that will weigh on our carbon footprint.” …

Allow only AC in very limited circumstances: “It will be on a case-by-case basis, and for health and safety of the athletes,” Michaud said, adding that ventilators vaporizing water droplets could be installed instead of traditional air conditioning units.