14 Jan 2020, 14:29
Julian Wettengel

Sports federations not active enough on climate – researcher

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Sports federations like the German Football Association (DFB) are not doing enough on climate, researcher Mojib Latif, head of marine meteorology at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview. “As a climate researcher, I really do deal with this topic extensively, but I have not yet noticed these associations in my work,” said Latif. “This also applies to the DFB, by the way. Nothing is happening there.” Due to climate change, a fundamental question arises, said Latif, “namely whether we will still be able to do every kind of sport or whether we can afford it.” For example, warming temperatures push the snow line ever higher and certain regions might no longer be suitable for winter sports, as seen in the use of snow cannons that consume “unbelievable amounts of energy”, said Latif. As early as 2040, German alpine winter sport locations would have to find alternative ways to generate income. Another example is Formular One auto racing. The ideal portrayed by F1 – ever faster, further and with more horsepower – this is “wholly counterproductive at times of climate change," said Latif. On the other hand, single sports celebrities are in a position to sensitise the public to the issue and ignite change, he added.

Considerable amounts of CO₂ are produced at all major national and international sports events, often with tens of thousands of spectators travelling to stadiums by car or even plane – causing about 85 percent of an event’s emissions. In 2018, the DFB had included a sustainability concept in its bid to host the 2024 European Football Championship, which was criticised for its lack of concrete goals for action.

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