How can sport be part of the solution? We kick off a seven-part series on sport and sustainability.
The climate crisis is becoming ever more dire, calling for urgent action to protect and preserve our planet. Sport’s role in preventing climate change may not always be obvious, but we need to evaluate every aspect of our lives and change our behaviour to mitigate climate change. Around the world there are examples of clubs, leagues, organisations and companies making changes to prioritise sustainability. However, we need to make this the standard, not an exception. A recent UN press releasestated that there is only 11 years left to “prevent irreversible damage from climate change”.
Sport’s fate is intricately linked to climate change. As sportanddev’s article on the sustainability of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) points out, the tournament took place as a record-breaking heatwave rolled through Europe, requiring additional water-breaks during some of the matches.
But sport can also be part of the solution. At the end of 2018, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) published a Sports for Climate Action Framework. It urges sports organisations and their communities to take responsibility for their carbon footprints and encourage a ripple effect of climate action in society. It outlines two overarching goals:
- Achieving a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change
- Using sports as a unifying tool to federate and create solidarity among global citizens for climate action
By signing onto the initiative, sports organisations are joining a growing group pursuing climate action through continual and collaborative efforts to share, learn and develop practices for reducing our impact on the world.
This series will highlight different ways that environmental sustainability can be integrated into the sporting world. It will look at different components of the sports world, with examples of good practice at each level.
We will first feature a guest article from the founder of The Sustainability Report looking at the status quo of sport and sustainability, before considering sports clubs, sports mega-events, governing bodies, and sports companies from around the world who are leading the movement towards sustainable sport. We then will summarize with how individuals can integrate environmental sustainability into their practices.