Race to ZERO Emissions
Why? The remaining carbon budget to stay below the safe limit of 1.5 degrees of global overheating will be used up within the next 6-10 years. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says, 'we have a rapidly narrowing window to secure a liveable world'.
The URGENCY of the EMERGENCY requires humanity to implement a Marshall Plan style response. Decarbonising to real ZERO emissions by 2030 (for equity, 2040 for developing Countries) for a 'reasonable chance of avoiding catastrophic runaway climate change'. We are so up against the wall that there is no room to 'offset' emissions, fossil fuel emissions have to stop, completely.
How far is sport willing to go, to save sport?
The most responsible move that sport could make right now would be to cancel the 2024 international competition schedule besides the Olympic Games. SHOCK HORROR! Do what?
Pause pollution, await solutions and focus on Sport LOCAL For Life: boosting sporting opportunities for all ages, abilities and communities whilst focusing on emergency mode decarbonisation and restoration of nature.
Perhaps more palatable would be to halve the 2024 competition schedule to rapidly cut emissions by 50 percent year on year to achieve ZERO emissions within a few years.
The minimum sport must do is to reduce emissions by 15% each year to reach zero emissions by 2030.
Can sports bodies find ways to keep the pinnacle events going, the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, kept within a tight carbon budget that sees only minimal travel and building emissions? Could people travel by sailboats, trains, electric vehicles, active transport, cycling, running etc. instead of polluting aviation?
Only radical is reasonable in response to the severity of the global emergency that we are faced.
Race To ZERO Emissions
There is still a chance to limit global overheating to 1.5 degrees, that critical physical limit beyond which the danger we are already facing crosses planetary boundaries triggering irreversible tipping points with catastrophic consequences. Hear Professor Johan Rockstrom.
The United Nations IPCC say we need 'Urgent, rapid transformative change across every sector of society.' and 'Deep, rapid, immediate and sustained reductions of emissions'. UN IPCC Reports. Statement by IPCC Chair at COP26.
Fossil fuel emissions have to STOP completely. 'Net 'zero 2050 targets agreed by global governments hinge upon unproven carbon capture technology and dangerously misleading offsetting. This is a lethal gamble.
Offsetting gives the idea that we can carry on polluting as long as we plant some trees or buy some areas of peat marshes but we can't. This will not work. Professor Kevin Anderson explains that offsetting is a dangerous distraction as there is no emissions space left.
For a 'reasonable chance' of limiting global overheating to 1.5 degrees, developed Countries must reach ZERO emissions by 2030 and developing Countries by 2040. (Source)
Reducing emissions has been left so late that emergency mode is required now. Read Dr Peter Kalmus, NASA Climate Scientist article.
Set ZERO emission goals
The solutions exist, humanity absolutely can change the course of this crisis, all that is lacking is the political will. Since global leaders began negotiations to end fossil fuels, 60% of all human caused emissions have been pumped into the atmosphere.
Sport needs to step into its power, right now and champion humanity, positively, through the transition to a sustainable future which is in balance with nature. This requires us to get to zero emissions, urgently and rapidly but doing so could be the best chapter of humanity yet.
The changes we need to make shouldn't be feared, they should be dreamed of, longed for and demanded because they will improve the living conditions for everyone.
Sport is increasingly affected by climate change, with athletes suffering from heatstroke and illnesses caused by air pollution, sporting infrastructure being destroyed by extreme storms, floods, fires or sports halls turned over for use as emergency cooling centres in excessive heat waves. We witnessed a summer Olympics plagued by a global pandemic and a winter Olympics, with no snow!..
People around the world already today are competing for survival. Lives and livelihoods torn apart by climate impacts. If we continue as we are then by 2070 the uninhabitable zone will extend across home to 3 BILLION people (source).
It doesn't have to be this way. Sport LOCAL has re-imagined a collaborative response that everyone would love, certainly once they understand the alternative and how the changes will improve all their lives.
What is your zero carbon goal?
We would like to hear what each sport has committed to and how this is translating in actual emissions reductions.