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Tennis world unites in fight against climate change

All four of the world’s Grand Slam tennis tournaments are uniting in the fight against climate change by joining the Sports for Climate Action Framework.

Lawn tennis
Lawn tennis

The United States Tennis Association (US Open) and the All England Lawn Tennis Club (Wimbledon) on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 announced their joining the Framework and, on Wednesday, June 5, Tennis Australia (Australian Open) also confirmed it would join.

The French Tennis Federation Roland Garros celebrated its active participation in the Framework at a special event in Paris on Wednesday, together with the UN, other tennis federations and key stakeholders and sponsors.

Welcoming all four Grand Slam Tournaments to the Sports for Climate Action Framework, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, said: “The engagement of the tennis world is very valuable for this initiative. We need everyone on board. It takes the combined efforts of all sectors of society, including business. Including sports. Including tennis.

“That’s the key behind UN Climate Change’s Sports for Climate Action movement. It invites all sports organizations to embrace the climate agenda, regardless of where they are in their climate journey.”

The Sports for Climate Action initiative targets two main objectives, namely, to achieve a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change and to use the sports sector as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action among global citizens.

Signatories to the Framework, including the three Grand Slam tournaments, commit to five clear principles, which include:

  • Undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Reducing overall climate impact
  • Educating for climate action
  • Promoting sustainable and responsible consumption
  • Advocating for climate action through communication

These principles, when translated into actions, can mainstream the integration of the climate dimension into the world of sports, thereby engaging a very wide public, and helping to foster a groundswell of climate action. Thus, the Sports community can do its part to contribute towards the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

“In the face of the climate crisis urgency, we must combine our strengths and generate peer-pressure with other events – especially the four Grand Slams, including athletes, partners, and all of our stakeholders”, said Roland Garros President, Bernard Giudicelli.

James Grabert, Director of the Sustainable Development Mechanisms and Global Climate Action also highlighted the excellent example set by Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the U.S. Tennis Open and the Australian Open, not only for the sports sector but for all people, stressing the importance of the sports spirit as a unifying catalyser for human action.

“What the tennis and other sports sectors are doing in the fight against climate change is a model of collaboration: it is what is required from all sectors and industries to truly have an impact, and inspire other industries to mobilize. We at UN Climate Change are helping to provide the necessary guidance and advice through the Sports for Action Framework.” In a further boost to the Sports for Climate Action Framework, the World Surf League yesterday announced it would become carbon neutral globally by the end of 2019.

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