The Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Ababu Namwamba has called for concerted efforts from all the sportspersons’ and sporting organizations, in the utilization of sports as a key force in combating climate change effects.
In a key note address delivered on his behalf by Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya to the delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27),Namwamba called for actions that will propel climate action beyond the historic commitments.
“The world needs to move with speed from words to actions. The time to act is now. The interlinkage between sport and climate change is evident through the carbon footprint from transportation, the construction and use of sporting infrastructure and the supply chains for sporting equipment. While sport is regarded as perpetrator and causality of climate change, it can play an important role in addressing the impacts of climate change. That is why The United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 75/18 recognizes “Sports as an enabler for sustainable development”,” he said.
He lauded the Athletics Kenya for taking a leading role in the world of sport through a commitment to reduce 50% of its emissions by 2030 and reaching a net-zero by 2040, and for being the first out of the 214 World Athletics Member Federations to sign and commit to the Sports for Climate Action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“I wish to thank the organizers of this side event and especially the Athletics Kenya, for their role in championing climate and air quality actions through installations of air quality sensors across the globe. In Kenya for instance, the Athletics Kenya together with other partners, have installed air quality sensors in five (5) sporting facilities across the Country. The data collected from these sensors will enable us to put in measures to control air pollution around sporting facilities, so that our athletes train and compete in a clean environment.” he added
The UNFCCC framework calls on the sports community to jointly develop a climate action agenda for sport by promoting greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating for climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication.
The former Budalangi Member of Parliament urged the parties to come up with clear implementation plans, which can help harness the potential of sport in addressing climate change.