MEDIA

Sport, climate change, and the process of moralisation

Brian P. McCullough, PhD

There are many aspects that draw so many people worldwide into sport. Whether as participants, spectators, or both, sport appeals to our emotions and well-being as a greater society. Sport is a universal language that spans cultural and generational boundaries. Sport also offers us an opportunity to elevate public interest in important social causes across these boundaries and into new territories of social progress. We see that with notable past examples: racial equality and Jackie Robinson, establishment protests and Muhammad Ali, gender equality and Billie Jean King, and most recently, pay equity and the US Women’s National Team. These hallmark examples, and so many others like them, draw us deeper into our love of sport.

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Do sports teams' sustainability efforts matter to fans?

While the sport sector’s environmental impact is not fully understood, it has a social platform and reach to influence a significant number of people worldwide to choose more sustainable behaviors. Brian McCullough, associate professor of sport management at Texas A&M University, says that sport organizations should be proactive in becoming more sustainable to increase business performance, deepen connections with fans and attract new ones.

Bold and visionary leaders can make climate action a commercial strength

Brian P. McCullough, PhD

The Meeting of the Parties 24 (COP24) concluded this past December with a renewed energy to fulfil the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and outlined specific ways to achieve those objectives. Most encouragingly was the openness of the UNFCCC to engage specific business sectors, including the sport sector, in the global effort to reduce the effects of climate change. I was honoured to participate in the initial meetings with the UNFCCC Secretariat and other sport sector and sustainability experts to discuss the parameters of a climate action agreement specific to the sport sector. This work continued up to COP24 in Poland, where the Sport for Climate Action Framework was announced with the initial signatories.

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