The winter outdoor industry is already witnessing the impacts of climate change. With a warming planet, we are seeing an increasing number of climate-fueled wildfires, devastating storms, droughts and with that, reduced snowpack - all threatening the permanent health of our planet, and to life as we know it.
Our $79 billion industry is dependent on consistent winter seasons which have already become shorter and more volatile.
- The northern hemisphere has already lost over a million square miles of spring snowpack
- Under current emissions scenarios, virtually every location in the U.S is projected to see some reductions in winter recreation season lengths, exceeding 50% by 2050 and 80% in 2090 for some downhill skiing locations
- The last colder-than-average month globally, compared to the 20th century average, was February 1985
- Each of the past three decades has been hotter than the one before it
- All the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005
Furthermore, climate impacts are already disrupting business across our supply chains and retail networks.
As an industry that is truly on the front lines of climate, with so much at stake, the winter outdoor industry is taking action to achieve the zero-emissions targets as fast as possible. In fact, a growing number of winter outdoor businesses have already committed to meaningful action by joining SIA's ClimateUnited Climate Pact, a set of commitments that align our businesses on a common goal, and a signal to other sectors and to our consumers that we are united and taking action at the speed and scale that this issue demands.
While our businesses are focused on doing less harm, we must also use our scale and influence to drive policy action on federal and state climate policy, to do more good. Because of the bipartisan nature of the winter outdoor experience and our businesses are influential members and economic drivers in communities across the U.S., we are uniquely positioned to help forge the relationships needed to drive progress.
Our challenge is very clear: To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the global community must cut economy-wide greenhouse gas pollution approximately in half by 2030, and achieve zero carbon emissions by mid-century, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
As the winter outdoor industry’s trade association, we’re committed to leading this effort to meet these achievable goals, addressing this issue at scale, and strengthening our industry for the future. Therefore, we are focused on the following principles:
- Achieving 100% Clean Power
The straightest path to a stable climate is to achieve clean, renewable energy across our power grid. Many states have already taken bold steps to set aggressive clean energy targets, but leadership also needs to come from the federal policymakers to accelerate the transition, and scale new technologies. SIA can help this by supporting legislation or regulations that set aggressive emissions targets and accelerates the adoption of clean, renewable energy such as:
- Tax incentives and low-cost capital that sparks innovation in renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency
- Legislation that modernizes the electric grid, through new technology, efficiency, and storage, for example
- A national clean electricity standard
- An economy-wide price on carbon
- Electrification of the transportation sector – supporting the adoption of electric vehicles and implementation of an EV infrastructure
- Supporting states and individual communities to achieve bold carbon emissions and clean energy targets
- Driving Greater Climate Justice and An Inclusive Clean Energy Economy
Across the board, we support an equitable transition to accessible clean energy for underserved communities and a just transition for workers and impacted communities that have been the backbone of our nation's energy system. We need to equitably distribute the benefits of clean energy so that it works for everyone, not just a select few.
Leveraging the economic weight of our $79 billion industry is a powerful lever and SIA is committed to giving our business members opportunities to use that influence to drive climate policy. SIA’s ClimateUnited initiative provides our members with a roadmap to effectively lead on climate; including guidance on emissions reductions, business strategy and political advocacy.
For more information about ClimateUnited, and to join SIA's ClimateUnited Climate Pact, please visit our climate page here.
 Rutgers, 2015
 (C. Wobus et al., 2017)