UN Climate Change News, 3 November 2021: ambitious new targets for Sports for Climate Action
A number of ambitious emissions reductions targets were announced by the UNFCCC’s Sports for Climate Action Framework (S4CA) today. These include reaching Net Zero by 2040 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 at the latest.
This comes in response to the scientific consensus that the world needs to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero before 2050.
All new and existing members of S4CA are called upon to adopt new goals under this Framework, which aims to gather sports organisations, teams, athletes, and fans in a concerted effort to set the pace for climate action and raise awareness on the urgency required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“Four years since we launched the Sports for Climate Action Framework, more than 280 sports organisations have committed to the overarching objectives of aligning sport with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, said at the launch of Framework targets at COP26.
“The sector eagerly took up the challenge, but also told us that they want to do more and to do it faster. These organisations are now being challenged to reduce emissions 50 per cent by 2030 at the latest and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040,” she added.
Signatories including the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, Athletics Kenya, BBC Sport, the Premier League, Formula E, Munster Rugby, and the International Rafting Federation have signed up to these new targets. In addition, signatories commit to submitting plans to outline concrete actions that will be taken to implement 2030 targets as well as report on overall progress with commitments on annual bases.
It was also announced today that Sports for Climate Action signatories who adopt these targets will officially enter Race to Zero, a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 733 cities, 31 regions, 3,067 businesses, 173 of the biggest investors, and 622 Higher Education Institutions.
The Sports for Climate Action Framework has two overarching objectives: achieving a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change and using sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action among global citizens.
That optimism is on show today at COP26 Action Hub where a number of sporting legends are taking part in three sessions about the future of sports and the climate. After a keynote address by H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco and FIFA Council member Isha Johansen, the first panel is titled Sports on Net-Zero Track: Ambition, Investments, Innovation and Collaboration, and will feature speakers such as Nico Rosberg and Dale Vince, owner of Forest Green Rovers. A second panel is titled “Using Sport to Inspire Meaningful Change” and will feature athletes like Hannah Mills and Ledley King among others.
About Sports For Climate Action
UN Climate Change set up Sports for Climate Action in 2018 to support and guide sports actors in achieving global climate change goals. Uniting behind a set of principles, sports organisations and their communities have created an initiative by collaborating in order to position their sector on the path of the low carbon economy that global leaders agreed on in Paris in 2015.
Sports for Climate Action works towards two overarching goals: Achieving a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change, through commitments and partnerships according to verified standards, including measuring, reducing, and reporting greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the well below 2 degree scenario enshrined in the Paris Agreement; Using sports as a unifying tool to federate and create solidarity among global citizens for climate action.
About the UNFCCC
With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.
IRF joins ambitious new targets for Sports for Climate Action
The International Rafting Federation joined Sports for Climate Action as an official signatory in 2019. We have further committed ourselves to these targets in further committing to halve our emissions by 2030 and meet net zero emissions by 2050.