Representatives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and sports organizations from around the world gathered for the first Sport Positive Summit. It brought together over 500 participants to discuss the role of sport in the global fight against climate change and recovery from COVID-19.
“Sport reminds us of our collective ability to overcome the impossible,” said Patricia Espinoza, UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change, addressing participants. “The confluence of the two global crises, climate change and COVID-19, has opened up opportunities not only for recovery from the vi-rus, but for further development to build cities and communities that are safe, green, healthy and resilient.”
The Summit was conceived as the venue for the annual meeting of the signatories of the UN Sport for Climate Framework to develop a climate change action agenda for sports organizations, in which the IOC has taken a leading role. The meeting demonstrated the achievements in the field of climate, achieved by the parties. Topics discussed at the event also includ-ed how to engage fans and athletes in climate change issues, and the im-portance of nature conservation for sustainable sports.
“The United Nations Sport for Climate Framework, which brings together nearly 160 organizations, has given real impetus to the entire sports world to join forces in the fight against the climate crisis,” said Marie Sallua, IOC Director of Corporate and Sustainable Development. “The IOC is fully committed to taking effective action to overcome this crisis and will continue to inspire the rest of the Olympic movement in their movement towards sus-tainability.”
The International Olympic Committee has announced its ambition to be-come climate neutral by 2024 and is taking strict measures to reduce its carbon footprint. Thanks to its official carbon partner, Dow, the organiza-tion’s projected carbon emissions from 2017 to 2020 have already been offset.
“The summit showed different ways to tackle sports and climate change,” said Olusi Smith, two-time Olympic champion and young IOC leader, speaking at the event. “Events like these are helping to mobilize more peo-ple in our sports community to do something, even the smallest thing, in our collective work against climate change.”.