Major League Baseball team the New York Yankees has signed the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, which aims to bring greenhouse emissions in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The Yankees become the first major North American sports team to sign on the framework, joining the likes of the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, the French Tennis Federation/Roland Garros, Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Rugby League World Cup 2021, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, UEFA, World Surf League and Formula E, among others.

The framework was launched in December by UN Climate Change and invites sports organisations to lead the way in measuring, reducing and offsetting their emissions.

By signing the framework, the Yankees have committed to undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating on climate change, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication.

United Nations secretary general António Guterres said: “I welcome the announcement by the New York Yankees to join Sports for Climate Action. With their rich winning tradition, the Yankees bring a new level of leadership to global efforts to tackle climate change. When it comes to safeguarding our future, it’s time to play ball.”

The news comes after the Yankees recently hired Allen Hershkowitz to the newly-created role of environmental science advisor, in what the team claimed marked a first-of-its-kind appointment in professional sports.

The Yankees said at the time that the appointment represents a defining moment in its commitment to sustainability. Hershkowitz will help the Yankees further advance their sustainability efforts, as well as guide a number of new and existing environmental initiatives for the team and at Yankee Stadium. Primary areas of focus will include energy use, waste management, water conservation and food services.

Image: Matt Hecht