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The Planet’s MVP’s

29 September, 2023

The BBC is seeking to change the way we think about excellence in sports, applying a green lens to athletic achievement.  The second annual Green Sport Awards applaud athletes, former athletes, and organizations who are creating positive change for the environment, highlighting those who tackle climate change as fiercely as they do their sporting opponents.

Did you know the global emissions of the sports industry is comparable to that of a medium sized country? That’s right, our beloved sporting events come at a high cost to the climate due to the transport, stadium operations, and equipment production they require. But climate change also threatens the sports industry. A report by the Rapid Transition Alliance forecasts that by 2050, nearly half of former Winter Olympics host cities may be unable to sponsor the games because of snow and ice loss. The same report in the UK found that nearly a quarter of England’s football stadiums could face annual flooding by 2050.

It’s clear the sports industry needs to act and take responsibility for its emissions and Green Sport Awards nominees are leading the way. Contenders for awards include Pat Cummins, known for his climate leadership and the Cricket for Climate Foundation, Ellen Donald, an England Under-20s runner advocating against energy company Shell’s sponsorship; the ATP Tour who launched a carbon tracker app used to mitigate travel emissions, and Pledgeball, a non-profit that partners with sports venues and associations to transform small individual pledges to large collective impacts.

So let’s redefine what it means to be an MVP (most valuable player) and celebrate those championing a future where we can enjoy sports at no cost to the planet. Tune in this Monday, October 2, to BBC Sport to find out who’s winning the gold in green excellence.

By Meg Seckel

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