UNCC – How sports can help address climate change

14 May 2021

UNCC – How sports can help address climate change

During the 15th EFDN Conference attendees listened with great interest to a presentation given by Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, Sector Engagement Lead at the UN Climate Change (UNCC), about what the world of sport can contribute to combat climate change.

Human activities are estimated to have already caused an increase of about 1.0 C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. Without decisive action, increases in global warming are likely to reach 1.5C between 2030 and 2050. These increases, which can go even further, represent major risks to life on planet Earth, particularly to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth.

2020 has been among one of the hottest years since records have been kept, the past decade was the hottest in human history, and ocean heat is at a record level. We must and cannot ignore this as the consequences can be devastating. But it is not too late – we have the power to stop and reverse these dangerous trends. So what can each of us and we all collectively do to reduce CO2 emissions and keep global warming within acceptable levels? Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu noted that Covid-19 has opened our eyes to what a global crisis truly looks like, and what is possible if we put our minds to it, for example by quickly developing vaccines.

The business community and private sector have a key role to play, explained Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu. Corporate commitments alone under ‘Race to Zero’ campaign now cover over 12% of the global economy and USD$ 9.81 trillion in revenue.

Sports for Climate Action

‘Sports for Climate Action’ was launched in 2018 in order to make it possible for sports organisations to address their environmental impact in a systemic way and implementing concrete actions to achieve the net-zero goal from the Paris agreement. Moreover, sports can be used as a powerful tool to drive climate awareness and mobilise action among global citizens.  The ‘Sports for Climate Action’ is committed to making its full contribution. The initiative is based on 5 key principles:

  1. Promoting environmental responsibility
  2. Reducing climate impact
  3. Educating for climate action
  4. Promoting sustainable consumption
  5. Advocating for climate action

Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu concluded by stressing the importance of football clubs and football organisations believing in their power to achieve change. Global warming will not fix itself. Football is a team sport. We all have to stand together in unity and become a part of the solution.

EFDN is committed to the fight against climate change and supports football organisation across Europe to achieve their goals on sustainability. Read more about Greenfoot and SDG Striker.


SDG Striker

SDG Striker is a project coordinated by Ecoserveis (ECO), a non-profit organisation specialised in environment and energy which ...


The Greenfoot project will develop and implement a community-based financing scheme for renovating football buildings including stadiums, practice ...