CWSAA recognizes the scientific consensus that average global temperatures are gradually increasing, and that this is most likely being caused by human activity (i.e. anthropogenic). However, we also understand that there are dramatic year-to-year variations in weather, as a result of cyclical weather systems (e.g. the El Niño Southern Oscillation System). Therefore, in our view, it is fundamentally unscientific to attribute individual weather events to global warming.
CWSAA and its members are responding to climate change challenges in various ways, including the following:
- We are partnering with the scientific community and other subject matter experts to enhance our understanding of the impact that climate change will have on our industry.
- We are investing in snow-making and other measures to mitigate reduced snowfall.
- The majority of major ski areas in BC & Alberta currently have snow-making systems in place.
- Enhanced summer grooming is being utilized to allow for safe & enjoyable skiing with less snowfall.
- We are diversifying into summer businesses.
- This includes activities such as sight seeing, mountain biking, adventure parks and golf.
- We are considering the impact of climate change in making resort expansion decisions
- Expansions for existing resorts will take climate change trends into account.
- We are encouraging government to reject new resort proposals that lack long-term viability due to climate considerations. We are taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment, e.g.:
- Whistler Blackcomb has been recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 6 years in a row.
- Sun Peaks Resort was the first ski resort in North America to be ISO 14001 certified (in April 2004).
- CWSAA Members operating within National Parks comply with strict environmental protection provisions (e.g.Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Mount Norquay, Marmot Basin).
- Many other CWSAA members are investing in more energy efficient facilities, lifts and equipment.
- We are committed to engaging in climate change advocacy at the federal and provincial level.
The original version of this position statment was approved by the CWSAA Board at the February 4, 2015 CWSAA Board Meeting.
An updated version of this position statement was approved by the CWSAA Board at the July 28, 2015 CWSAA Board Meeting.