Now, sports a unifying tool for climate action

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Katowice (Poland), Dec 11 (IANS) As nearly 200 countries entered the second week of their crucial climate negotiations here, the sports sector and the UN Climate Change on Tuesday jointly launched the Sports for Climate Action Framework to drive climate awareness and action.

The framework will mobilise sports organizations, teams, athletes and fans in a concerted effort to raise awareness and catalyse action to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Representatives of the diverse global sports industry, working with the UN Climate Change over the past year, created the framework to drive emission reductions of sports operations and tap the popularity of sport to engage millions of fans in the effort.

The launch event, which took place on the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) here, featured founding signatories including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA, the International Sailing Federation, the World Surfing League, the Forest Green Rovers Football Club and Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

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“The IOC is proud to have taken on a leadership role in the Sports for Climate Action Initiative,” said H.S.H. Prince Albert II, Chair of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission, at the event.

“As countries here in Katowice prepare to turn their climate commitments into reality, we stand ready to leverage the power of sport to support their efforts.”

The 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.

Sports organizations recognize in the framework that they need to take an active part in achieving the goal of the Paris agreement, climate neutrality by mid-century and they see their climate efforts also contributing to the broader Sustainable Development Goals.

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“You recognize that because you’ve built significant global trust and moral leadership and because sports touches on every cross-section of society, you can drive positive change throughout the world,” UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said.

The IOC and UN Climate Change cooperated in the production of a climate action guide — “Sustainability Essentials: Sports for Climate Action” — for use by sports federations and others, which was released at the event.

(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at [email protected])



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