The announcement of the formation of the Sport Environment and Climate Commission (SECC) and its statement of commitment marks an important moment in the fight against climate change and the role that the sport and physical activity sector can play in moving the United Kingdom towards Net Zero.
Active Partnerships (SECC member) with their England wide coverage and ability to influence and make change happen at a local level have a critical role to drive the change needed around climate matters at a local level. SECC provides the ability for national and local sporting and physical activity organisations to work together on reducing the harmful effects of climate change. Whilst the climate does not recognise national or local boundaries it is a combination of national and local programmes working in unison that can deliver the change required. SECC stresses the time to act is now and with the local reach of Active Partnerships they can effectively support partners to make the changes needed, at the speed needed.
The unique role that Active Partnerships play in getting the nation active and reducing sedentary behaviours by encouraging people to be physically active, as well as getting people to walk and cycle for their short journeys are all great ways to reduce carbon emissions. Active Partnerships have a critical role to help people be active for themselves, their community and the planet.
Sport Environment and Climate Coalition statement on climate change and environmental sustainability
Sport, recreation and physical activity is enjoyed by millions of participants and fans across the country from grassroots to the elite, delivering huge social and economic value through improved health and wellbeing, connecting communities and supporting economic growth.
And our natural and built environment provides the places and spaces for people to be active in any way they choose – from pitches, parks, courts and swimming pools to mountains, rivers, coasts and lakes.
But climate change and wider environmental degradation as a result of pollution, biodiversity loss and resource consumption present a clear threat both to our way of life and to our sector.
We therefore need to change the way we operate now to reduce our environmental impact and contribute to wider efforts to reach net zero. And we must take steps to protect the environment within which sport, recreation and physical activity takes place so that our many millions of participants and future generations can continue to enjoy it in the coming decades.
And ultimately the urgency of the task we now face requires leadership – all of us have a role to play in maximising the enormous power and reach of sport, recreation and physical activity to inspire positive environmental and climate action.
In this context, the signatories to this statement have come together to establish a UK-wide, cross-sector approach comprising the following elements:
- Creation of the Sport Environment and Climate Coalition (SECC) to lead and coordinate the sector’s efforts on climate change and environmental sustainability. The group will harness the sector’s collective resources to help reduce the environmental impact of sport, recreation and physical activity and contribute to the UK’s transition to net zero.
- An assessment of the current level of awareness, understanding and action on climate change and environmental sustainability to identify the support needed to help the sector adapt and become more sustainable in the long term.
- Development of an ambitious roadmap setting out how the sector will transition to net zero alongside the provision of advice, guidance and support to organisations in the sector to improve their environmental sustainability.
- A collective commitment to place tackling inequalities at the heart of the sector’s efforts to transition to net zero and become more environmentally sustainable.
- Creation of a sector-wide campaign to highlight the importance of climate change and environmental sustainability and leverage the power and reach of sport, recreation and physical activity to drive positive action.
Achieving our collective ambition on climate change and environmental sustainability will require a collaborative approach and as a group we are committed to working in partnership with our members, partners and government at national and local level to deliver meaningful change.
Members of the Sport Environment and Climate Coalition (SECC) are:
For more information on sport, climate change and sustainability visit: www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/policy/sustainability