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The COP26 in Glasgow is a timely reminder that the sport must step up its efforts to go green

The arrival of COP26 in Glasgow has ensured that there is an action plan, proposal or theory everywhere on the best way to tackle climate change.

As is so often the case, sport came too late to the party, but it’s finally here.

Concerns about climate change and the world of sport did not collide for years, if not decades. But finally the sports world has awakened to both the dangers of climate change and its responsibility to get greener.

In Scotland the threat is all the more evident. There are a number of sports that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the dangers are already all too obvious.

The rise in global temperatures means that Scotland’s snow sports – along with the rest of the world – will almost certainly be severely affected in the years to come.

The effects of climate change are already being felt and things are only getting worse.

All five winter sports resorts in the country are below 2,000 m and are therefore particularly at risk for temperature increases.

Even now, Scotland’s winters are becoming less predictable as snowfalls occur later and later each year and the amount of snow is more irregular than in the past.

Similarly, Scotland’s golf courses, particularly the links golf courses, are threatened by coastal erosion and with a predicted rise in sea level their very existence is threatened.

There is also worldwide awareness of the urgent need for action in the sports world.

Formula 1 is a particularly serious culprit. International courier company DHL, a major F1 sponsor, announced that it has traveled up to 120,000 kilometers for the 2021 season to deliver cars, teams, broadcast and hospitality equipment, as well as fuel and tires to the races. That’s the equivalent of three trips around the world.

In recent years it has become clear that this cannot go on for the good of the planet.

In response, Formula 1 has presented a climate protection strategy that includes a new engine that aims to use 100 percent sustainable fuel and CO2-neutral by 2030, incentives for more environmentally friendly travel for fans, more sustainable materials, highly efficient logistics and energy supply offices , Facilities and factories with 100 percent renewable energy.

It remains unclear how long a sport based solely on driving, which we are all supposed to do less of, can be sustained, but these new measures are at least a start.

Last week at COP26, several of the giants of the sporting world made it clear that they are committed to doing their part for the planet.

Both FIFA and the IOC are signatories to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework, which is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

Sport is in a strange position. Constantly traveling the length and breadth of the globe to compete doesn’t help being green, but there is at least an acceptance now that there is a responsibility to do what is necessary to help the planet or at least reduce the rate of damage.

Where is the sport going from here?

The impact on many, if not most, of the outdoor sports is likely to become even more  -parent in the years to come.

A report released last year suggested that the already palpable disruption will only get worse.

In the UK, football fields are often flooded, especially in the lower leagues, while there are other challenges around the world.

For the past two years, bushfires have affected tennis at the Australian Open, typhoons have disrupted the rugby World Cup, and rising global temperatures have left many countries unable to host the Winter Olympics.

It is time for sport to do its part to tackle the climate crisis and serious action must be taken immediately.


The revelation that another elite coach is being investigated on allegations of sexual misconduct is worrying, but also oddly encouraging.

It seems that there have been an abundance of stories over the past few months about the in -propriate and harmful way coaches have treated their athletes is being investigated by the US Center for SafeSport after complaints of sexual misconduct were brought against it.

The American works with, among others, the Olympic champion over 200 m in Tokyo 2020, Andre de Grasse, and the triple jump world champion Christian Taylor and also trains numerous British athletes, including Adam Gemili and Daryll Neita, at his base in Florida.

In -propriate or even illegal behavior by coaches is nothing new. However, until recently, few, if any, athletes had the courage or confidence to voice their concerns or complaints because they were believed not to be believed.

Things are changing, and while it is still difficult for most athletes to talk about harmful behavior on the part of a coach, there is undoubtedly a much more open-minded and less dismissive attitude towards allegation these days.

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