Milan-Cortina Olympics, the requests of the Fridays: “No to soil consumption and fossil companies, we need a committee on the environment”

“How do you talk about Olympic Games and sport, a beautiful thing, which concerns health, when you forget the community?”. If she asks Esther Barel20 years old and spokesperson for the Fridays for Future. On March 3, on the occasion of the global strike for the climate, the environmental movement organized a blitz at the headquarters of Cones (National Olympic Committee) a Milancriticized on social media by the leader of the League Matthew Salvini. The activists brought a banner and hung stickers on the walls and windows with the words “Milano Cortina 2026. Cement. Petrolium. Artificial snow”. These Games “will come at a time when the climate crisis it is manifesting itself in a very harsh way. Already this year Lombardy And Piedmont I’m on my knees for the Drought – explains Barel – Our requests are simple: no to further soil consumptionnot a sponsorships by the fossil companies and yes to an independent Environmental Impact Assessment committee” for the event.

The Milan Cortina Winter Olympics, strongly desired by the mayor Beppe Roomcan be an opportunity for a relaunch for Veneto And Lombardy. However, the construction of new infrastructures will have significant effects on the nature and the landscape of the two regions, as he has said in recent months, and is likely to exacerbate some of the problems they are already experiencing. “Milan doesn’t need to new concrete – says Ester Barel – Last year he did so much heat, that we have seen the train tracks melt. We should talk about the resilience and adaptation of cities, new ones green spaces to make the citizens survive”. For this reason, the group asks CONI and the administration of the Municipality not to build nnew buildingsbut to use, both in the city and in the mountains, installations Already existing. “It perplexes us bobsleigh track from 85 million euros designed for Cortina. In Turin there is one abandoned by Olympic Games of the 2006. The one in Innsbruck, Austria may be available at a lower cost”, says the activist. Even the transformation offormer railway yard of Porta Romana in the Olympic village in Milan is not convincing: “We still don’t know what it will become. One assumed studentbut is likely to be abandoned or used only in part by a few people or companies, not by the community, as is happening at the Expo 2015 area”.

The sporting event will take over the entire Alpine arc new roadsnew transport networks, but also new ski facilities and food and lodging for tourists. “We at Fridays for future ask for one Environmental impact assessment carried out by an independent committee – says Barel – We do not accept that the same builders tell us what are the minimum and sufficient criteria for compliance with the ecosystems. It’s like a student giving himself a report card. So it is not possible to highlight the critical issues”. The movement would also like CONI not to accept sponsorships by companies linked to fossil fuels, first of all Eni, at the center of numerous protest actions during the marches of 3 March. “It seems to us a joke that whoever does the 96% of its profits from petrolium And gas and slow down the Italian transition, use a sporting and cultural occasion as a stage to do greenwashing and paint himself as green”.

According to activists, the event should involve more women community: “For the Olympics to truly be a moment of sharing it is necessary to build discussion tables with the citizens of the places concerned, but also with all Italians, given that the climate crisis it is not limited to local borders – explains Barel – Otherwise who explains to people why there is water for artificial snow, but they struggle to find it for drinking and for thedaily use, or that there are villages for sportsmen but their neighborhood is all cemented”. The action at the CONI headquarters and its claims have also attracted some criticism. The leader of the League and Minister of Transport, Matteo Salviniaccused the youth of Fridays for future of being “against sportsagainst new infrastructure, against development against tourism, against work”. “The question is not whether you love sport or not. How do we talk about a beautiful thing and that’s good, when many cities are catching up 50 degrees and the inhabitants of mountains they suffer. It’s not a huge one contradiction?”.

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