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 SC4A 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 and Munster Rugby, 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.