The world of sport pledges to halve global warming emissions during this decade

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The National Basketball Association, professional baseball, hockey and soccer teams, international motorsports, tennis pros, surfers, runners and wrestlers are stepping up their campaign to fight climate change.

At events on Tuesday and Wednesday at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, universities, professional and amateur leagues around the world announced new or intensified commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of their sports in the middle of this decade, as of now.

They include the United States Tennis Association, Formula E Fully Electric Powersports, World Surfing League, United World Wrestling, NFL Green, New York Yankees, New York Mets and Departments. University of Colorado at Boulder Track and Field, University of Miami. and Ohio State University.

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The global popularity of sport makes it an ideal vehicle for promoting climate action, sports executives said on Wednesday.

“Few sectors have the power to inspire and the global appeal of sport. We call on other sports leaders to follow suit, ”Prince Albert II of Monaco, President of Sustainability of the International Olympic Committee, said at the climate conference.

The sports league effort recognizes that major sporting events significantly add pollution to the build-up of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, according to the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action framework. four years ago and accelerated this year at COP26.

The campaign also recognizes that the degraded climate inundates sporting venues, deteriorates playing surfaces and running tracks, fuels toxic algae blooms that derail outdoor water sports, reduces the natural snowfall necessary for some winter sports and disrupting events with heat, cold, precipitation and storms, according to the Sports for Climate Action framework.

The World Surf League and over 200 other sports organizations are committed to tackling climate change. (World Surfing League, COP26)

“Four years after the launch of the Sports for Climate Action framework, more than 280 sports organizations have committed to achieving the overarching goals of aligning sport with the goals of the Paris Agreement (established at COP21 in 2015)” , said Patricia, UN executive director on climate change Espinosa on a Glasgow broadcast.

“The industry took up the challenge eagerly, but also told us they wanted to do more and faster. These organizations are now challenged to reduce their emissions by 50% by 2030 at the latest and achieve net zero emissions by 2040, ”Espinosa said.

Representatives from some of the sports organizations spoke at a panel discussion in Glasgow on Wednesday.

“Formula 1 globally touches over 2 billion people around the world, and it is this platform that gives us the ability to influence, inform and educate others around the world,” said James Colgate, representing Williams Racing based in London. He said Formula 1 racing cars only contribute around 1% of the industry’s pollutants, while travel, shipping and building infrastructure for racing events make up the vast majority of pollution. preventable.

Colgate said Formula 1 cars have been running on hybrid-energy engines since 2009 and that Williams Racing and others are developing clean-energy racing technology that can be shared with other sectors.

Fiona Morgan, Director of Goal and Impact at Sail GP – which promotes international high-performance catamaran grand prix sailing races – said her company has placed sustainability at the center of the making of sailing ships, commercial operations and the organization of events around the world.

“We want the world to be powered by nature,” Morgan said, explaining that participants must adhere to specific green standards and promote sustainable development in underdeveloped countries.

Many signatories to climate action commitments have developed or are developing climate-friendly and LEED-certified stadiums and venues, built with non-polluting materials and powered by clean energy such as solar power. Examples include the Champions Center at Colorado University Boulder and the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, home of the newest National Hockey League team, the Seattle Kraken.

This story originally appeared in the Florida Phoenix.


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