Sports can have a major contribution to mitigating climate change by reducing its own carbon footprint, by impacting its supply chain and especially offer a way of engaging and empowering citizens to climate actions and introducing climate friendly ways of conduct. Climate Leadership Coalition (CLC) and Estonia jointly present a side event in the Katowice Climate Change Conference to introduce examples of how sports have already contributed and perspectives for further actions.

The role of citizens is critical in achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement since the pledges of governments, cities, and global business sector are not yet enough. Recent studies state that on the global level, around 70% of greenhouse gas emissions are related to household consumption. Citizens should be engaged as the key drivers for the transformation.

Climate change threatens all aspects of our lives, including our ability to do and follow many of our favorite sports, as we currently know them. This side event looks at the crucial role that sports can play in tackling climate change and especially at ways that athletes can help encourage citizens to step up their fight against climate change.

Sports and arts are significant global influencers regardless the background of the follower. They can take a leading role in introducing climate friendly solutions for the public and inspire others to follow. As well, it is important to examine how these two can be made more climate friendly, for instance, by developing and using climate friendly materials.

The event will take place on 13 December at 18:30-20:00 in the Room Bug of the International Conference Centre (MCK) in Katowice Poland.


Chaired by Annela Anger-Kraavi, Estonia

Keynote Addresses

Environment Minister Siim Kiisler, Estonia
Environment, Energy and Housing Minister Kimmo Tiilikainen, Finland
Viatcheslav Fetisov, Founder, The Last Hockey Game at the North Pole, UN Environment Patron for Polar Regions, UNESCO Champion for Sport, former NHL player voted for International Ice Hockey Federation’s Centennial All-Star Team, Member of Russian State Duma and former Russian Minister of Sport

Panel discussion

Moderated by Michael Pedersen, Sport Lead, Global Crisis Information Network and Founder, M INC. › change the game


Neil Thorns, Chair, The Climate Coalition’s Game Changer Report
Riku Kallioniemi, CEO, Finnish ice hockey league
Jouni Keronen, Executive Director, CLC
Eric McGuire, Representative, Advanced Sports Installations Europe Ltd
Melissa Harris, GLOBE Series
Miguel Naranjo, Programme Officer, UNFCCC Global Climate Action Team

Drink Reception at 20:00

You are warmly welcome!

Be a forerunner by making the Citizen’s climate pledge and reducing your personal carbon footprint by half within 10 years.