UEFA plans to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and halve them over the next eight years as part of a sustainability pledge.
European football’s governing body has joined the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign following the launch of its own sustainability strategy in December.
The goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 as part of plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2040 “within UEFA, across UEFA events and collaboratively across European football”.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing society today and we have unfortunately witnessed how flooding and unseasonable weather patterns have lately devastated infrastructure across the world,” president Aleksander Ceferin said.
“The transition to a thriving, green economy is imperative and must be part of the solution. Football can play an important role in implementing new standards in this respect and raising awareness across the globe.”
Lindita Xhaferi Salihu, Sectoral Engagement Lead (Sport for Climate Action) at UN Climate Change, added: “Just like in football, addressing climate change requires leadership, resilience and teamwork and we look forward to working with UEFA to apply these standards on the field and outside of stadium.”
UEFA has stepped up its initiatives to help to combat climate change following accusations of ‘greenwashing’ in the wake of Euro 2020.
Amid concerns about the environmental cost of staging a tournament across 11 host cities – Wales fans were forced to travel more than 12,000 kilometres just for two group games in Baku – UEFA pledged to offset 405,000 tonnes of carbon produced by fans and its staff members journeying to games.
There were also plans to plant 50,000 trees in each of the host cities, but UEFA shelved them last year, citing the impact of the pandemic, as attention turned to other projects.
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