SPORT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION & ADAPTATION
Climate emergency is an existential threat for human civilization. The impacts of climate or weather-related events include:
1.3 million climate-related human deaths and 4.4 billion injuries between 1998 and 2017 (SDG 3);
22.5 million people displaced from 2008 to 2018 (UNHCR) and an estimated 140 million projected to be forced to migrate by 2050 (World Bank 2018); and
$300 billion loss in average annual consumption estimated from natural disasters globally (World Bank, 2017).
Climate action will have to be a part of each SDG to mitigate its adverse effects on various developmental objectives. SDG 13 is specifically dedicated to Climate Action to address the urgency of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Use of sport for climate action is not only effective from environmental perspectives, but critical in protecting the space for sport. The risks of climate change to sport include:
Limited quality green and safe spaces due to extreme temperatures, an extended period of drought, flooding, and/or pest species extending their natural range;
Destruction of buildings and other infrastructure due to violent storms; and
Threats to marine sports due to coastal erosion and sea-level rise, and to winter sports due to warmer winters and lack of natural snow.
With its unrivalled capacity to motivate and inspire large populations, sport can promote sustainable consumption and production through education and awareness-raising campaigns around sustainable development and nature-friendly lifestyles.