UEFA commits to ambitious climate goals and joins Race to Zero campaign | Within UEFA
UEFA has pledged to join the UN Race to Zero campaign, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its events by 2030.
The decision to sign up for the UN-backed Race to Zero version of the Sport for Climate Action Framework follows the launch of the UEFA Sustainability Strategy 2030 last month.
UEFA is one of the founding signatories of the Sport for Climate Action Framework, which aims to support and guide sport stakeholders in achieving global climate change goals.
A renewed ambition to Sport for climate action was launched at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 and is fully aligned with UEFA’s sustainability strategy, which shares the same goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 – towards achieving net zero carbon by 2040 within UEFA, through UEFA events and collaboration across European football.
“Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing society today and we have sadly witnessed how flooding and unusual weather conditions have recently devastated infrastructure across the world,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
“The transition to a green and thriving economy is imperative and must be part of the solution. Football can play an important role in setting new standards in this regard and raising awareness around the world.
“We are committing to Race to Zero as part of our 2030 ambition to reduce the carbon footprint of European football.”
Race to Zero, backed by the UN, is a global campaign that aims to rally non-state actors – including businesses, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take strong and immediate action to achieve net zero carbon in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and strong short-term goals.
All Race to Zero signatories have committed to the same overall goal: to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2040 or earlier.
Lindita Xhaferi Salihu, Sector Engagement Manager (Sport for Climate Action) at UN Climate Change, said: “We congratulate UEFA for joining the ambitious strand of the Sport for Climate Action Framework for the climate. In committing to the ambitious and robust targets proposed in the framework, UEFA joins the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign. Just like in football, tackling climate change requires leadership, resilience and teamwork and we look forward to working with UEFA to apply these standards on and off the pitch.”
“In many ways, football requires the same skills that we will need to tackle the climate crisis: perseverance, agility and a truly collaborative approach from the whole team. UEFA in the Race to Zero campaign and encourages all football stakeholders to become climate champions, taking immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030. Together we can win the race to zero emissions” , added Nigel Topping, COP 26 High Level Champion for Climate Action.
Respect for the environment, which focuses on climate and advocacy, circular economy, event sustainability and infrastructure sustainability, features prominently in the recently released 2030 Football Sustainability Strategy. ‘.
By launching this strategy in December, UEFA is determined to be part of the solution to preserve and regenerate the environment and harness the power of football to raise awareness and catalyze action.
To help achieve its goal of achieving net zero carbon by 2040, UEFA will, among other things, measure the environmental impact of all UEFA events by 2024; encourage clubs and member associations to measure the impacts of national competitions; and work to integrate climate criteria into UEFA regulations, policies and guidelines.
“We have a great responsibility towards the millions of footballers and supporters and we feel all of this. Our actions and decisions have a huge impact on civil society and we must take care of it as an important part of the game of football” , said UEFA’s director of social responsibility, Michele Uva, “Through our strategy, we want to accelerate our actions to encourage and engage our stakeholders across Europe to prevent and reduce the deterioration of the environment through football-related activities, while leveraging football’s reach and visibility to advocate for the urgency of action.”
In addition to its partnership with the Sport for Climate Action Framework, UEFA also supports the European Climate Pact, which invites communities and organizations to help the European Union achieve the Green Deal and Europe’s transition. towards an economy with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.