COP26: FIFA commits to net-zero emission by 2040 and launches FIFA Climate Strategy

  • FIFA President confirms pledge to UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework

  • FIFA Council member Isha Johansen delivers keynote speech at climate summit in Scotland

  • Coinciding with the event, FIFA publishes comprehensive FIFA Climate Strategy

Joining the calls for action as world leaders meet at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland, FIFA is taking a leading role in the world of sport by confirming its pledge to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change − Sports for Climate Action Framework. This includes a commitment to reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2040, as part of a detailed FIFA Climate Strategy that lays out plans to accelerate the delivery of solutions to protect our beautiful planet and our beautiful game. “This is a critical moment. The change in weather patterns is impacting the environment and its rich biodiversity, food security and access to fresh water, as well as the health and well-being of individuals,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino in a video address to the delegates gathered in Glasgow. “Following my election as FIFA President in 2016, FIFA became the first international sports organisation to join the UNFCCC Climate Neutral Now campaign, pledging to measure, reduce and compensate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the FIFA World Cups™. I am proud to announce today that − based on our long experience with climate action in football − FIFA has developed a comprehensive climate strategy and is committed to investing substantial resources that will allow FIFA and football to reach the ambitious and necessary objectives of the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework.” The FIFA Climate Strategy consists of four pillars and three key goals that will put FIFA on the path to climate-friendly performance, to protect FIFA’s tournaments from the negative climate change impacts, and to ensure climate-resilient football development across FIFA operations and events by 2040. It includes a host of concrete initiatives to:

  • educate the global football workforce on climate-related impacts and climate-friendly solutions;

  • adapt football regulations and activities to be more resilient to current and anticipated impacts of climate change;

  • reduce the carbon emissions of FIFA and football to contribute to the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework objectives; and

  • invest in climate protection and support football stakeholders with access to know-how to tackle the impacts of climate change.

“We, as inhabitants of this planet, must all make this our priority,” added FIFA Council member Isha Johansen in addressing the Sports for Climate Action − On the Race to Zero session at COP26. “Football also has the power to radically shift mindsets on climate change and mainstream climate action. We have a huge, attentive audience and it is our duty to amplify these key messages. “We will help educate fans on climate change and encourage them to play their part in protecting the planet and the beautiful game. We have a moral, urgent duty to accelerate our action. Our commitment to protecting our climate remains unwavering.”

Net-zero paradox means we’re mining for sustainability

The transition into a greener method of energy generation inevitably requires greater mining activity. Can we accept this sustainability paradox?

London, UK, 28 May 2021, ZEXPRWIRE, The idea of mining further raw materials in order to be more eco-friendly seems counter-intuitive. Surely digging up technology metals will lead to more waste? But scientists suggest that increasing mining activity could be the best way to reach the UK government’s target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

When it comes to sustainability, we’re at a crucial crossroads. We all know that fossil fuels are running out at an astonishing rate. With road transport contributing to one-fifth of the UK’s GHG emissions, electric vehicles (EVs) offer the opportunity for a greener alternative — but only if produced responsibly.

The lack of recycling infrastructure for EV batteries has got us hurtling towards another possible sustainability crisis. The lithium (Li-ion) batteries that power electric vehicles require specific end-of-life management. Yet the UK, which is the second-largest producer of EVs, doesn’t currently have sufficient recycling facilities in place, meaning batteries end up in landfill where they pose an e-waste risk.

Organisations such as Technology Minerals are working on recycling initiatives. Down the line, correct management of spent Li-ion batteries will mean that lithium, cobalt, and other essential elements can be reclaimed. But recycling isn’t the only part of the life cycle that needs addressing. What about the raw materials?

Replacing the estimated 1.4 billion internal combustion engine vehicles worldwide with electric cars will require 40 times the quantities of cobalt, neodymium and lithium currently being mined. Many people, understandably, resist the idea of increasing mineral extraction due to the negative environmental impacts. Nevertheless, scientists believe this is the way to go — at least in the short term.

However, as Andrew Bloodworthfrom from the British Geological Survey suggests, “It isn’t just about mines. It’s the whole supply chain. So, even once you’ve mined your lithium, you’ve still got to go through all the refining, all the chemical treatments, to get to the point where you are making batteries.”

Bloodworth’s comments highlight the need for a circular economy that accounts for every part of the EV battery life cycle. To mitigate the very real risks of both carbon emissions and e-waste, we need a framework that responsibly sources, processes and recycles rare earth elements for electric vehicle batteries.

This comprehensive approach is exactly what Technology Minerals is setting out to do. The company, which is now approaching IPO, brings together a range of battery metal projects for the sustainable extraction and recycling of Li-ion battery metals for reuse.

While increasing the mining of metals for batteries may seem a paradoxical way to tackle the sustainability crisis, it could be the most effective step forward. Companies like Technology Minerals are taking an innovative leap to bring about real change in this area.