Fans have highly anticipated the Euro 2021 tournament. Now it’s finally here, and we’re ecstatic. Amidst the excitement, the UEFA is raising environmental awareness. Here’s how they’re working to better the planet:
The “Cleaner Air, Better Game” Campaign
Throughout the championships, UEFA will pilot a climate campaign called “Cleaner Air, Better Game.” We’ll discuss it in detail below:
Why the Campaign is Needed
People love watching their favourite team battle it out on the football field. Nothing’s more exciting than watching them work together to kick the ball towards the opponent’s goal while they try to steal it away will have you tightly gripping the edge of your seat.
Your heart may well be racing even faster if you’ve placed bets on the Euro 2021 football tournament. The added risk increases your adrenaline and makes you cheer on your pick with even more enthusiasm. It’s no mystery why millions of people will tune in to each match.
However, the world is becoming more environmentally conscious. The truth is, football isn’t great for the environment. This reality leaves fans questioning whether watching their favorite game is worth its damage to the planet.
The majority of people don’t want to support a sport that’s not environmentally friendly. For the sake of the local and wider environment, UEFA must work to robustly combat this issue.
What the Campaign Does
The UEFA program commits to compensating for greenhouse gas emissions by making the championship carbon-neutral in Hungary and Slovenia. The national football associations in both countries plan to plant trees and provide bikes for fans to cycle to the competitions.
The organization will promote European Green Week on its social media and provide a climate workshop. Former football star Mathieu Flamini, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin, and Nobel Prize-winning scientist Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, and several experts will attend this event.
During matches, these two host countries will play public service announcements about air pollution. These efforts are in addition to previous changes the organization has made in the past:
● Offsetting flights for staff, delegates, and match officials
● Implementing energy-saving initiatives at their headquarters
● Channelling revenue into social and environmental programs
Why The UEFA Focuses on Air Pollution
Air pollution is particularly concerning for Europe, as 130 cities don’t meet the required standards. This problem contributes to 400,000 deaths every year in this continent alone. It also negatively affects football players and slows matches.
Is the UEFA Too Little Too Late?
Their efforts are undoubtedly praise-worthy, but many people worry it isn’t enough. The travel of teams and fans across continents expends massive amounts of carbon. The University of Manchester found that nominees for this year’s Ballon D’Or alone emitted 500 tons.
Not to mention the fields use enormous amounts of water and high-energy floodlights. Plus, a lot of waste is generated from catering and merchandise outlets. These factors leave some questioning whether the tournament is worth all the environmental damage.
The “Cleaner Air, Better Game” program is a decent start towards reducing the eco-footprint of the football industry. However, with the overwhelming amount of waste and carbon these events create, more effort is needed.
Whether the UEFA can do enough to assure fans that the tournament they love isn’t destroying the planet remains to be seen. In the meantime, you can do your part with changes like using bikes or public transportation to be part of the solution.