UN, FIFA team up to promote climate neutrality

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has joined the United Nations (UN) climate change secretariat’s initiative Climate Neutral Now, becoming the first international sports organisation to do so.

The Climate Neutral Now initiative represents a global community of organisations committing to becoming climate neutral by the second half of the 21st century.

Climate Neutral Now calls on organisations and individuals to measure, reduce and report greenhouse gas emissions and compensate those which cannot be avoided with UN-certified emission reductions. The initiative was launched in September, 2015 by a founding group of organisations that included Microsoft, Sony, the adidas Group and Marks & Spencer.

The announcement was made last week during a panel discussion at the UN headquarters in New York. FIFA’s Secretary General, Ms. Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura and Mr David Nabarro, Special Adviser on Agenda 2030 for the UN Secretary General, were in attendance, along with the Director of Strategy of the UNFCCC secretariat, Halldor Thorgeirsson, and FIFA’s Head of Sustainability and Diversity, Federico Addiechi.

Diouf Samoura said:  “By joining the Climate Neutral Now campaign, we pledge to continue to strive towards becoming greenhouse gas emission-neutral by the mid-21st century. We also commit, as we did in Brazil in 2014, to measuring, reducing and offsetting our greenhouse gas emissions at the next edition of the FIFA World Cup, scheduled to take place in Russia in 2018. Beyond that and through the power of football, we also aim to inspire greater awareness and best practices in sustainability standards.”

UNFCCC’s Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa said: “Every sector has an important role, but we are excited by the potential that sports organisations represent. More than one billion people watched the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil. There is enormous potential for inspiring sports fans around the globe, in addition to the action that the sports organisations are taking in-house.”

Actor and Climate Neutral Now supporter Edward Norton said: “Do something about your personal climate footprint  –  it can be as simple as driving a little less, using  mass transit a little more,  turning of the television or AC in the room when you are not in it, just simple little things to observe and change wasteful habits that we all have.”

Climate Neutral Now is led by the UNFCCC and encourages organisations and individuals to measure, reduce and offset their climate footprints.