Sport: driving sustainable change
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) took place in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022. World leaders gathered to discuss pressing climate issues. Sport is a key driver for sustainable change, with initiatives in Europe already underway.
Europe’s role in alleviating climate change through sports
Successful projects and initiatives already exist in Europe. The Green Sports Hub, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme, promotes environmental sustainability and the sharing of knowledge and best practices to develop the sector.
Rugby Europe, a partner of the Green Sports Hub and an official partner of the European Week of Sport, reduces its global carbon footprint by finding hosts willing to have both Men’s and Women’s tournaments at the same time. This also brings more attention to women’s sport.
Hungary’s annual summer Men’s & Women’s 7s Trophy Tournament put the above into practice. The National Rugby Federation of Hungary took the additional step of making it a greener event by
- renting electric buses for teams
- providing electric bikes for staff
- replacing all plastic bottles with reusable ones
- promoting plastic-free cutlery and biodegradable cleaning products
The European Commission looks to the future and has recently published a call for a pilot project, Sport for People and Planet, aimed at developing a new approach on sustainability through sport in Europe.
COP27 – a hallmark event
Race Against Climate Change: accelerating the transition to zero emission mobility was an insightful panel discussion at COP27, led by Lindita Whaferi-Salihu from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with guest speakers from Envision Racing, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and Formula E.
They discussed innovation in e-mobility, the importance of a just transition to reach net zero and how sport sparks sustainable behavioural change.