The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has announced major climate action commitments as part of its EURO 2020 tournament – including planting over half a million trees across the continent and compensating for the travel-related emissions of fans and staff.
Announced by UEFA President, Aleksander Čeferin in Ljubljana, Slovenia late last month, the commitment celebrates the 60th anniversary of the European Championships, leaving a lasting legacy for the competition – and the planet.
UEFA will plant 50,000 trees in each of the 12 EURO 2020 host countries and plans to invest in high-quality Gold Standard renewable energy projects in partnership with South Pole to compensate for the estimated 405,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent that will result from fan and UEFA staff travel to matches.
The EURO 2020 is a celebration of European football happening across the continent, said Čeferin, pointing to its benefits over a traditional tournament – by taking matches to more diverse communities, the EURO avoids the environmental cost of building new stadiums and transport links.
Čeferin also acknowledged the increased carbon footprint of fans travelling further to matches, saying, “UEFA takes its responsibilities on this seriously and it is right that we offset the carbon emissions that causes."
“This is the first time that all fan travel to such a major sporting event is compensated for," said Renat Heuberger, CEO and co-founder, South Pole, “We applaud UEFA, the leading voice of European football with its passionate fans, for taking this important step – we need organisations like UEFA to lead by example for the good of our climate and communities."
UEFA is a signatory to the Sports for Climate Action Initiative.
Read more about UEFA's climate action commitments for the EURO 2020 tournament on their website.