UEFA, football’s European governing body, has pledged its support for the European Climate Pact and has laid out three climate-focused goals it will look to achieve in the coming years.
The European Climate Pact was launched in Brussels last week and invites people, communities and organisations to contribute to the European Union’s Green Deal, which plans to create an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Čeferin has outlined UEFA’s climate action plan, which will focus on three main goals. The first will be to establish science-based targets to measure UEFA’s ongoing progress in cutting European football’s carbon footprint.
The second will be to leverage the global popularity of UEFA’s competitions to run a three-year advertising campaign promoting the Green Deal’s call to action, while the third will be to collaborate with key stakeholders to ensure the Euro 2024 national team tournament in Germany is climate-friendly.
UEFA will work with the European Commission to achieve these goals, drawing on the expertise of partners such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). UEFA will also harness the support of national associations, clubs, leagues, fans, players and commercial partners to deliver on its goals.
Čeferin said: “As a guardian of the world’s most popular sport, UEFA pledges its commitment to the European Climate Pact. By reaching a Europe-wide audience of millions, football has the potential to dramatically shift mindsets on climate change – a critical first step to getting everyone involved in creating a climate-neutral economy.”
Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president of the European Commission and responsible for the Green Deal, added: “I’m looking forward to cooperating with UEFA to get even more Europeans involved in the green transition. The Climate Pact brings together European citizens, businesses, and organisations to take action to tackle the climate crisis. Pledges for the planet will show everyone the possibilities for action.”
UEFA has previously taken steps to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions generated by its competitions. UEFA has implemented a flight carbon compensation scheme for all travelling supporters at next year’s rescheduled European Championships, which will take place across 12 host nations. Wembley Stadium (pictured) will host the final.
To offset the climate impact of next year’s tournament, UEFA has partnered with South Pole, an organisation which helps businesses compensate their carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy and development projects around the world.