COP 28: Sustainability in action at EURO 2024
UEFA demonstrates commitment to positive legacy at UN Climate Change Conference.
UEFA set out aims to make EURO 2024 the most sustainable European Championship of all time at this week’s COP 28 conference in Dubai.
The tournament will bring together fans from all over the world, and under the official slogan “United by Football”, UEFA will work with the German Football Association (DFB) and public authorities to deliver a month-long event that leaves a positive impact on its host communities.
Speaking on a panel discussion titled United by Football: Partnerships for EURO 2024, UEFA director for social and environmental sustainability, Michele Uva, presented the environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy for EURO 2024, which is backed by an investment of €32 million.
For the environmental pillar, 43 activities are designed to achieve 18 major targets across climate action, sustainable infrastructure and circular economy. To mitigate tournament emissions, a dedicated Climate Fund will allow amateur football clubs in Germany to undertake emission-reduction projects linked to energy, water, waste management and smart mobility.
"The UEFA EURO 2024 vision is to be the reference for event sustainability in the world of sports and a driving force for sustainable development through our ESG strategy. We are determined to be part of the solution to measure and reduce the impact of football on the environment and leverage the power of our sport to raise awareness and catalyse action. Through the targeted investments and measures presented in our strategic approach, we have built the foundation to contribute to the tournament’s legacy, in full alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals."
Joining Mr Uva on the panel, hosted by Sky Sports’ David Garrido, were Sandra Mikolaschek, EURO 2024 ambassador and table tennis player, Jürgen Kornmann, chief marketing and public relations officer, Deutsche Bahn, Thomas Neuhäuser project leader in EURO 2024 host city Düsseldorf, and Annegret Korff, EURO 2024 head of staff – Society, Federal Ministry of the German Interior.
The UN Sports for Climate Action Framework
The event was organised as part of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, and explored the significance of partnerships working towards sustainable development goals and the legacy that key major events like EURO 2024 can leave behind.
UEFA is a founding member of the Climate Action Framework, which was launched in 2018 with two main objectives: to provide a clear path for the global sports community to combat climate change and to use sports as a tool to create awareness and drive action among global citizens.
On its fifth anniversary, the message of the Framework remains crystal clear: sports have the potential to champion the crucial battle against climate change.
Teaming up to tackle climate change
UEFA is one of the founding signatories of the Sports for Climate Action Framework, and joined its Race to Zero campaign in early 2022.
UEFA also supports the European Climate Pact, which invites communities and organisations to help the European Union achieve the Green Deal and Europe’s transition to an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Since 2020, UEFA has supported the Green Deal through showing dedicated TV adverts during match broadcasts across Europe. This season’s film promotes messages on saving energy, encouraging fans to take everyday steps to help face the current energy crisis.
EURO 2024 to back ‘Football for the Goals’
EURO 2024 will also support the UN’s Football For the Goals initiative, which provides a platform for the game’s stakeholders and wider community to engage with and advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UEFA was an inaugural member of the campaign, which launched in July 2022. Football for the Goals taps into the game’s social power and reach, not only in raising awareness and recognition of the SDGs, but in achieving behavioural change and sustainable practices within the industry and inspiring the game’s global fan-base.
“Sustainability has been a fundamental, cross-sectional topic defining UEFA EURO 2024 bidding, organisational set-up, and decision-making,” said EURO 2024 managing director Andreas “Mex” Schär.
“All of our strategic actions are based on collaboration across all of the tournament’s ten host cities and a wide range of partners, in full alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals. Through the UEFA Euro 2024, we want to set the right example towards sustainable change and inspire Football for the Goals members to follow.”