The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced it had joined the “Sports for Climate Action Initiative”, a new programme established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Initiative was announced at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, currently taking place in Katowice, Poland. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will provide support for its implementation, and other leading sports federations are also planning to embrace it.
The new Initiative aims to leverage the global popularity of sport to drive concrete actions that will help make a real difference in the battle against climate change, as well as help minimise the environmental footprint of sporting events. It also aims to contribute through sport to the implementation of measures contained in the Paris Agreement and to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unanimously adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in September 2015. Tokyo 2020 took the decision to embrace the new Initiative from the outset given the close match with its own activities and principles.
With support from the IOC, Tokyo 2020 has already taken concrete steps to reduce the environmental footprint of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 by maximising the use of existing venues and by the planned deployment of energy-saving technologies. These will include the maximum possible use of electricity generated from renewable sources at competition venues and other facilities, including the Olympic Village, and the utilisation of fuel cell vehicles for the transportation of Games-related personnel during the Games.
Commented Tokyo 2020 CEO Muto Toshiro: “Since the establishment of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, we have positioned sustainability as one of our most important principles and believe that measures to combat climate change represent one of its most important components. Tokyo 2020 has already initiated a number of activities in conjunction with partner organisations aimed at addressing climate change, and we are delighted to announce our support for this international framework today.”
“We launched our own initiative called ‘Towards Zero Carbon’ which aims to minimise the impact on the climate of the Tokyo 2020 Games. We will continue along this path engaging in various initiatives aimed at achieving this goal and hope that these will help spur activities by other organisations to combat climate change at other major sporting events. We believe this will be a key legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games.”
There are five principles governing participation in the Sports for Climate Action Framework:
- Undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
- Reducing overall climate impact
- Educating people about the need for climate action
- Promoting sustainable and responsible consumption
- Advocating for climate action through communication
Tokyo 2020’s Sustainability Plan
Contribution towards Sustainable Development Goals
From among the UN’s 17 specific Sustainable Development Goals, this framework will contribute towards Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), Goal 13 (Climate Action) and Goal 17 (Partnerships).