Climate Leadership Council CLCClimate Leadership Council CLC

Sports event to focus on mitigating climate change

Jaa

On 2nd November 2018 the Climate Leadership Coalition and Sport and Sustainability International (SandSI) are hosting an event in Helsinki to report upon and support the work that the global sports industry and affiliated businesses are implementing to address the urgent threats posed by worsening climate change.

The recent report from the IPCC estimates that the rate of global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between in 20-30 years if it continues to increase at the current rate. Virtually every coastal golf course in the world will be under threat by the end of the century while the absence of snow will prevent at least nine of 21 Winter Olympics host cities will from ever hosting the Games again. These effects are already visible in alpine and Nordic skiing and outdoor ice hockey.

“The cultural and market influence of sport is extremely influential. In the United States, less than 20% of the adult population regularly follows science, while almost 80% follows sports. Sport is a non-political unifier that can help promote climate literacy and reduce the cultural polarization that limits our ability to effectively mobilize the world in repose to the unprecedented threat posed by climate change.” said Allen Hershkowitz, PhD, Chairman and Founding Director, Sport and Sustainability International.

Promoting awareness about climate change is the focus of the Last Hockey Game which will be played in April 2019, staged by the UN Environment Programme and spearheaded by legendary Russian ice hockey player Viacheslav Fetisov, who was appointed UN Environment Patron for the Polar Regions.

“The planet that we share is in big trouble. As a child, I was out on the ponds, and rivers in Moscow, skating every day, from October to April every winter. Now, in Moscow, in Finland, in Canada – we are lucky if we get one month in the whole year to skate outdoors. Now you can’tuse your skates in September – you need a swim suit. You don’t need to be a scientist to understand. With the support of all the Artic countries - the US, Canada, Russia, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, the United Nations Secretary General Guterres and United Nations Environment Programme, Pope Francis and the Vatican, Prince Albert, we have a chance to help heal our planet. I am pleased to inform that Jari Kurri will join the Last Game,” says Fetisov.

“It is an honour to represent Finland in maybe the most important sports event in the world. I share the concern and am willing to help in spreading the message and activating organisations and citizens for climate actions,” says Jari Kurri.

“Besides being an information campaign mobilizing urgent climate action, the Last Game offers great opportunities to give visibility to companies which are pursuing solutions for climate mitigation. The UN Environment Programme welcomes all interested parties to join the call from the North Pole,” says Jan Dusik, Principal Adviser for Strategic Engagement for the Arctic and Antarctic at UN Environment.

In addition to the Last Game, several other climate actions in sports were presented by representatives of olympics, football, golf, pond and ice hockey. “The Finnish Ice Hockey leaque Liiga has charted its carbon footprint together with Lappeenranta University of Technology. With the Liiga clubs we will collect together all the measures already taken by the individual clubs and plan further actions. We want to be a responsible operator in preventing climate change. Liiga reaches a significant proportion of Finns and we are glad to be an example”, says Riku Kallioniemi, CEO of the Liiga.

“Sport organisations have focused on sustainability for a while, but now it is time to focus in to climate action. Sports can make a major contribution in support of climate mitigation if it lowers its own carbon footprint, gets their suppliers to do the same and encourages citizens to make climate friendly purchasing choices,” concluded Jouni Keronen, Executive Director of the Climate Leadership Coalition and the chairman of the event. 

Contacts

Jouni Keronen, Executive Director, CLC, jouni.keronen@clc.fi, tel. +358 50 4534 881
Marina Nordström, Assistant, marina.nordstrom@sitra.fi, tel. +358 50 3376 366
Allen Hershkowitz, Chairman, Sport and Sustainability International, tel. +1 917 453 6003

Climate Leadership Coalition (CLC) is a body formed by leading Finnish companies and organisations which combats climate change by creating clean, environmentally sound solutions. The Council encourages everyone to move towards carbon-neutral operations and sustainable use of natural resources. CLC is also a member of the influential international We Mean Business network and has observer status in climate conventions.
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Climate Leadership Council CLC
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