This week, 92 brand companies, including K2 Sports, Rossignol, North Face, Clif Bar and Burton — along with 53 resorts, 50 professional athletes and 13 snow sports trade groups signed a letter they intend to deliver to President Barack Obama about the urgency of climate change and encouraging him to bargain hard for a tough agreement when delegates meet for the U.N. Climate Change Convention or COP21 in Paris.
Calling themselves the Protect Our Winters coalition, the group has a web site and invites individuals to join in. Addressing the president, they wrote, “As you prepare for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, please know that the snowsports industry and professional athletes applaud your strong leadership on addressing climate change. Your work is critical in moving our country towards a clean energy economy, driving innovation and economic growth and helping us improve our resiliency over the long term.”
“The snowsports industry views climate change as an economic opportunity as well as an environmental issue. Our businesses support $62 billion in tourist-related revenue, 964,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in annual retail sales. We are united in our desire to reduce carbon emissions and transition to a clean energy future,” they wrote.
“2014 was the warmest year in the temperature record, and 2015 is on track to surpass it. Failure to act now on climate is unacceptable, and will result in damage to the environment, tourism and the economy. This is the greatest opportunity of our time. We need meaningful action from all, and it is time to act.”
Technica USA, Outside Media, Head skis, Alpine Style, Cascade Design and Black Diamond Equipment are other brands that signed on. The 53 resorts that signed the letter span the country from California, Colorado and Utah to Vermont and New York and even politically conservative areas such as Wyoming and Montana. They include Squaw Valley, Boreal, Aspen Mountain, Vail Resorts, Copper Meadow, Deer Valley, Alta, Killington in Vermont, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort. And Aspen Skiing Company, owner of four mountain resorts, two hotels and 18 restaurants, and employer of 3,600 people seasonally, is a signatory. They now see climate change as a business risk, not to mention a societal risk.