Football and climate change: what do we know, and what is needed for an evidence-informed response?

Mabon, Leslie (2023). Football and climate change: what do we know, and what is needed for an evidence-informed response? Climate Policy, 23(3) pp. 314–328.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2022.2147895

Abstract

Association football is popular and influential globally. Interest in how football relates to climate change, and the climate policy required for football, is growing. Clubs, players and fans increasingly call for action to reduce football’s impact on the climate, and for plans to adapt to climate impacts on football. However, well-intentioned actions must be underpinned by robust evidence. This synthesis reviews research at the interface of football and climate change. After summarizing the main climate actions identified for fans, players, clubs and organizing bodies, the review looks in-depth at four areas: impacts of football on climate; impacts of climate on football; football as a driver for pro-climate actions; and the relationship between football and carbon-intensive industries. The review then outlines research gaps for an evidence-driven response to climate change in football: adaptation across different geographical contexts; understanding what climate change means for community-level football; understanding how carbon-intensive industries relate to sense of place identity in football under a just transition; developing principles for phasing-out fossil fuel financing; and considering how climate change relates to women’s football.

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