UNFCCC, Sports Organizations Launch Framework to Reduce Emissions in Sports
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The Sports for Climate Action Framework was established to reduce the emissions of sports operations and to engage sports fans in the effort.

The initiative includes such signatories as the International Olympic Committee, International Sailing Federation, World Surf League and Forest Green Rovers Football Club.

11 December 2018: The UNFCCC and the sports sector have launched the Sports for Climate Action Framework that brings together sports organizations, teams, athletes and fans to raise awareness and action to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Framework, which was established to reduce the emissions of sports operations and to engage sports fans in the effort as well, was launched during an event on the sidelines of the Katowice Climate Change Conference, which is meeting from 2-14 December 2018 in Poland.

The sports industry produces emissions through, inter alia, travel, energy use, venue construction and catering. As such, sports organizations recognize that they have an active role to play in realizing the goals of the Paris Agreement, climate neutrality by 2050, and the SDGs.

The Framework aims to: achieve a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change; and use sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action. The initiative includes such signatories as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Sailing Federation, World Surf League and Forest Green Rovers Football Club.

Sports organizations recognize that they have an active role to play in realizing the goals of the Paris Agreement, climate neutrality by 2050, and the SDGs.

The Framework elaborates five principles, namely:

  • undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility;
  • reducing overall climate impact;
  • educating for climate action;
  • promoting sustainable and responsible consumption; and
  • advocating for climate action through communication.

Those participating in the initiative have committed to: adhere to these principles; incorporate them into strategies, policies and procedures; and mainstream them within the sports community. In early 2019, participants will be invited to establish working groups to plan, pursue and enhance work related to the Framework’s principles.

The Framework will provide sports organizations with a forum where participants can pursue climate action in a mutually supportive manner by learning from each other, disseminating good practices and lessons learned, developing new tools, and collaborating on areas of mutual interest.

The UNFCCC will use its platforms, such as Climate Neutral Now and Momentum for Change, to track progress and/or highlight successes, and will facilitate and coordinate the initiative within its resources and mandates.

The event also saw the launch of a climate action guide, ‘Sustainability Essentials: Sports for Climate Action,’ for use by sports federations, which was produced by the IOC and the UNFCCC. The IOC also released ‘Carbon Footprint Methodology for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games,’ which details guidance for Olympic Organizing Committees on measuring the carbon footprint of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. These publications aim to help make sports more sustainable and climate smart. [UNFCCC Press Release] [Sports for Climate Action Framework Webpage] [Sports for Climate Action Framework] [International Olympic Committee Website]


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