Minister pledges action as ski resort brings in snow

"The images of this helicopter are an electric shock to everyone"

18 February 2020

Anger that followed a ski resort's decision to helicopter in 50 tonnes of snow has stirred the government into action.

As reported, officials at the Luchon-Superbagnères ski resort in the Haute-Garonne decided on Friday to transport snow from higher up the mountains to slopes used by beginners and ski schools, allowing about 40% of the station to open. The operation took two-and-a-half hours and cost between €5,000 and €6,000, officials told AFP.

But news of the operation sparked fury from environmental groups

“Using helicopters to bring snow to ski resorts is not an option,” Minister of Ecological Transition Élisabeth Borne said in a tweet on Sunday in reaction to the news.

She also said that she would also chair a meeting later this week.

"The images of this helicopter are an electric shock to everyone. You can see that these are really anti-ecological practices," Ms Borne told 20minutes

"The stations, which are victims of global warming, are aggravating the situation by doing so. This is representative of the need for a cultural revolution. We cannot play against nature.".

She said that she hoped those at the meeting later in the week would be able to develop an 'action plan' to support ski resorts as they deal with the effects of climate change.

"We need to anticipate the future of these resorts in medium and high mountain areas, together with the stakeholders," she said, adding that mountain resorts should be encouraged to develop year-round tourism.

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