For the first time ever, the Winter Olympic games will rely entirely on artificial snow. 

It’s a reality that could become more common as the planet warms. And it has environmental experts concerned. 

Nearly 50 million gallons of water are being piped in to serve the Beijing games, possibly setting reserves in this water-stressed region back by hundreds of years.

Meanwhile, China says this year’s event is the most environmentally-sound winter games ever. But there’s no system to track those claims – and some researchers say the Olympic games are actually getting worse for the environment over time.

This week on The Carbon Copy: why claims about the sustainability of the Olympics are often greenwashing. 

Guest: Christian Shepherd, China Correspondent for The Washington Post. Read his article about the winter games here. 

The Carbon Copy is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

The Carbon Copy is supported by Atmos Financial. Atmos offers FDIC-insured checking and savings accounts that only invest in climate-positive assets like renewables, green construction and regenerative agriculture. Modern banking for climate-conscious people. Get an account in minutes at

The Carbon Copy is also supported by Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators, and changemakers driving our climate positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.