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FIFA urges international sports federations to focus on climate change

FIFA has called for sports organisations around the world to take necessary action to tackle climate change.

A presentation by Federico Addiechi, who is the head of sustainability and environment at football’s worldwide governing body, at the 12th Play the Game conference in Odense stressed on why climate change should be taken more seriously.

Author David Goldblatt, Denmark National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation Board member Rikke Rønholt, University of Colorado Boulder professor Roger Pielke and Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities consultant Jakob Færch were the panellists present during the session titled “Playing against the clock: Can sport contain climate change?”.

“Since 2010, FIFA has been measuring and offsetting carbon emissions, as well as engaging with stakeholders to understand climate change impacts and find solutions,” Addiechi said.

“FIFA will continue to take climate action leadership by engaging actively and collectively with member associations, teams, players, fans, other sports, [parties to] the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other key stakeholders and reaching climate neutrality by 2040.

“As the title of this panel correctly says, we are all playing against the clock.

“We need to review how we do sport fundamentally, not only to contribute to reducing emissions but also to adapt our sports to the changes in our climate and physical environment so that they can be enjoyed by future generations, just as we have been enjoying them.”

FIFA was the first sports federation to join the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Climate Neutral Now campaign and also became a founding signatory to the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework in 2016 at the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Poland.

Apart from other climate-related commitments, the International Federation also launched the Green Card for the Planet campaign focused on protecting the environment.

FIFA has also pledged to measure, mitigate, and offset emissions with the help of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy at the World Cup this year.

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