GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) – The United Nations climate conference on Wednesday urged sports organizations and teams around the world to meet the environmental goals they have committed to.
FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, the NFL, the NBA and the New York Yankees are among the nearly 300 signatories of the Sports for Climate Action Framework (S4CA) since the Paris climate agreement in 2015.
“These organizations are now challenged to reduce their emissions by 50% by 2030 at the latest and achieve net zero emissions by 2040,” said Patricia Espinosa, UN Executive Secretary on Climate Change , during the COP26 conference in Glasgow.
S4CA members “also commit to submitting plans to outline concrete actions that will be taken to implement the 2030 goals” and to issue annual updates, the UN said.
FIFA subsequently confirmed its commitment to the goals and pledged – along with the organizers of the tournament in natural gas-rich Qatar – to host a carbon-neutral World Cup next year.
The 2022 edition is a rare opportunity for World Cup fans to primarily use public transport to move between matches at eight stadiums in and around Doha city.
Air travel was the most viable option for fans traveling to matches scattered across Brazil and Russia during the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. The 2026 tournament requires travel from thousands of miles (kilometers) to across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Executives and football teams often use private jets, and Manchester United was criticized last month for flying 85 kilometers (50 miles) to a Premier League game in Leicester.
The IOC said last month it also set a stricter interim target of 30% emissions reductions by 2024, when Paris will host the Summer Games.
The organizers of the Paris Olympics persuaded the IOC to let them organize surf events more than 15,000 kilometers (9,000 miles) in Tahiti. They said the move would ultimately reduce the carbon footprint as the venue chosen, Teahupo’o, also hosts a major annual event immediately after the games.
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