Kenya voices concern about climate change effects on sports

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Kenyan minister – sports can play a positive role in sustainable development

Kenya has expressed concern about the potential for climate change to disrupt the world of sports, jeopardizing the ability to host athletic events in certain locations and times affected by rising global temperatures. Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Ababu Namwamba, emphasized the important role that sports can play in mitigating the impact of climate change. He highlighted the United Nations General Assembly’s recognition of sports as a means to enable sustainable development and called for a collective effort from sportspeople and organizations to achieve this goal.

Athletes take action

Athletics Kenya has taken a leading role in the sporting world by committing to reducing its emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2040. Athletics Kenya has partnered with international organizations such as the United Nations Environment Program and Stockholm Environment Institute to undertake joint activities that include monitoring air quality in sports facilities and improving waste management.

Sports that are in greatest danger to be affected by climate change

Climate change could have an impact on various sports in different ways. Some of the sports that could be most affected by climate change include:

  1. Winter sports: Rising temperatures could lead to a decrease in snow and ice, affecting winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice hockey.
  2. Water-based sports: Climate change could cause changes in water levels, currents, and temperatures, affecting water-based sports such as surfing, swimming, and sailing.
  3. Outdoor endurance sports: High temperatures and humidity levels could lead to health risks for athletes participating in outdoor endurance sports such as marathons, triathlons, and cycling.
  4. Extreme sports: Climate change could lead to an increase in extreme weather events such as hurricanes and storms, which could pose risks for athletes participating in sports such as surfing, kiteboarding, and windsurfing.
  5. Team sports: Climate change could also have an impact on team sports such as football and baseball, affecting the conditions and safety of the playing fields and stadiums.

Overall, the impact of climate change on sports will depend on the specific sport, the location, and the severity of the changes in climate.
Read more about Kenyan youth combating climate changing in an appeal to FIFA.

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