FEI commits horse sport to climate action and environmental responsibility

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Riders on La Baule beach in France.
Riders on La Baule beach in France. © FEI/Martin Dokoupil

Horse sport’s governing body, the FEI, has signed the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework.

The Framework was created by representatives of the global sports industry led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the UN Climate Change secretariat and was launched in December 2018 during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland. The FEI signed the framework earlier this week in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The framework aims to bring together sports organisations, teams, athletes and fans in a concerted effort to raise awareness and action to meet the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement.

In doing so the FEI has committed to implementing the following five principles:

Principle 1: Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility;

Principle 2: Reduce overall climate impact;

Principle 3: Educate for climate action;

Principle 4: Promote sustainable and responsible consumption;

Principle 5: Advocate for climate action through communication.

“Sport’s impact on our climate is complex and can be difficult to measure depending on the size of
the organization and/or event,” the framework outlines.

“However, most sports organisations and fans would now acknowledge that sport’s contribution to climate change – through associated travel, energy use, construction, catering, and so on – is considerable. Moreover, sports’ global interest for billions of fans, and the media coverage generated in response, provide a strong platform for the sport sector to play an exemplary role in meeting the challenge of climate change, and inspire and engage large audiences to do the same.

“Sports organisations can display climate leadership by engaging actively and collectively in the
climate neutrality journey, in turn helping to differentiate from competitors, build brand reputation
and engage their sports personnel, employees and members on environmental issues.

“This can be achieved by taking responsibility for their climate footprint, helping global ambition
step-up and incentivising action beyond sports to take meaningful and transformative climate
action.”

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