Sport at COP26: an opportunity to be part of the climate talks

by Chiara Aruffo

COP26 (United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change) will officially open in Glasgow (Scotland) the 31st October. Sport will also be part of the discussion and many events can be followed on live streaming.

Everything is ready in Glasgow to welcome delegates that will gather from all over the world to attend COP26, the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change. While there has been very little talk about sport in previous editions of the conference, this year there are a number of side events connected to the conference where sport will be featured. Just for the record, sport is not yet on the ‘presidential programme’. 

Sport events at COP26

28 October

COPtimism Sport Panel, COPtmism is a side event that took place before the opening of the conference. The panel on sport was moderated by Claire Poole, founder and CEO of Sport Positive, and included representatives from Forest Green Rovers and Paralympic athletes.

1 November

Exploring action and ambition to make sport more sustainable, an event organised by Nordic co-operation on how the Scottish and Nordic sports world is tackling climate change.

2 November

Sport Positive Exhibition Booth, exhibition space featuring members of the UNFCCC, BBC, Champions for Earth among others.

Sports & Climate Roundtable, an event run by the Paris 2024 organisers and attended by members of the IOC, UNFCCC and Paris 2024.

3 November

Extreme International Sport & Climate Day, an event organised by BeyondSport. Participants will include Tom Gribbin, co-founder of Planet Super League, Julie Duffus, Senior Sustainability Leader of the IOC and Hannah Mills, Olympian and founder of The Big Plastic Pledge.

How Sport Can Set the Pace for Climate Action, an event attended by some of the signatories of the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action.

4 November

Sport & Climate: Match Fit?, an event run by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and STV on how broadcasting sport can help combat climate change

How sport can help kick carbon, Sports event during which the documentary “Cricket’s Climate Crisis” will be premiered.

6 November

Spirit of Football: One Ball, One World, an event by Spirit of Football and Pledgeball on the role of football in promoting climate action.

7 November

The World COP Football Tournament, organised by Spirit of Football

8 November

Sport @COP Day of Action, hybrid forum (online and in person) featuring members of the sporting sector, the following activities are planned:

  • The Athletes Assembly who will come together to discuss how athlete activism can contribute to combating climate change
  • Sport Sustainability Showcase
  • Global Sustainable Sport Hackathon
  • Sport x SDG Challenge

9 November

Formula E: Change. Accelerated. Accelerating sustainable human progress through the power of electric racing, on how Formula E has changed the world of racing and how sport can help build a better future.

11 November

GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf as part of Driving for Net Zero (Scottish Government event) is organising an activity on the role of golf in climate action. Participants will include golfer Suzann Pettersen and representatives from the IOC.

Cover picture: credits Envision Virgin

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