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European Sports Ministers Form Expert Working Group on Sustainability

Laura Flessel (right), the French sports minister, instigated the working group.

Laura Flessel (right), the French sports minister, instigated the working group.

Twelve ministers from across the European Union have come together to form an expert working group to discuss the ways sport can play a role in tackling environmental issues.

Led by French minister Laura Flessel and backed by the European Commission, the group met for the first time in Paris after cohort of sports ministers endorsed a European vision for sport.

Findings from that meeting will be revealed during a formal council meeting in Brussels in July, where the date for the second working group gathering is expected to be announced.

Following a change to European Commission rules, the group is one of the first two sport-focused expert groups organised by member states, independent of the Commission. The other expert group, instigated by Bulgaria, aims to eradicate match fixing from European football.

Previously, expert working groups could only be arranged by the European Commission. Now, if a member state has the support of seven other states, and the subject is of interest to the Commission, an expert working group can be formalised.

Yves Le Lostecque, head of the European Commission’s Sport Unit, told SSJ that although sport and climate change projects were not currently being financially supported by the Commission, there was more “coordination, cooperation and agreement” between member states to view major sporting events with an environmental dimension.

He added: “Climate change is a topic which has been discussed increasingly in general terms, and clearly become a subject on the EU agenda. That was not the case some years ago, but it is now. This is one of the growing subjects of importance, and one member state that is pushing on this is France.”

The European Commission has formed two further expert working groups in sport: one focusing on integrity in sport, and another looking at human resources, such as education, training, skills and dual careers.

Read the full article here.

Hockey in the Desert

By John Schwartz, New York Times

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday in Las Vegas. The outside temperature before the game was in the 90s Fahrenheit. Credit: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday in Las Vegas. The outside temperature before the game was in the 90s Fahrenheit.
Credit: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

My paradox meter just broke.

Back in February we reported on how global warming was messing up the outdoor skating season in Canada and the northern United States. Now, the Stanley Cup finals are being played in Las Vegas, one of America’s hottest cities.

Doesn’t that mean that hockey is contributing to climate change — and maybe its own demise — by building ice palaces in the desert?

Before you give Las Vegas and the National Hockey League too much side eye, it’s worth noting that the league has been working to address environmental issues, including climate change. It has an ongoing sustainability initiative aimed at minimizing the sport’s damage to the environment, and that initiative includes T-Mobile Arena, home of the Vegas Golden Knights. The city’s leaders, furthermore, have made progress in running the municipal government on renewable energy.

Still. That ice. In the desert. It’s not cheap to make or easy to maintain.

Read the full article here.

The Climate Paradox – Part 2

This post was prepared by Wade Wiebe of the South Eastman Transition Initiative.

Ted Talk: How to transform apocalypse fatigue into action on global warming - Per Espen Stoknes

Ted Talk: How to transform apocalypse fatigue into action on global warming – Per Espen Stoknes

In a previous article, we discovered five psychological barriers that make it difficult to accept and act on messages about climate change: Distancing, Doom, Dissonance, Denial and iDentity. But in an interview on the podcast “You Are Not So Smart”, psychologist Per Espen Stoknes also described five elements of messaging which can effectively overcome these barriers: Social, Supportive, Simple, Stories, and Signals. Let’s look at how these can work:

Read the full article here.

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