From climate knowledge to climate action in sport

Hva er idrettens klimaavtrykk? Hva gjør og kan idretten gjøre for å minske klimaavtrykket? What is sport's climate footprint? What does and can sport do to reduce the climate footprint? Project group: Ørnulf Seippel, Morten Renslo Sandvik and Åse Strandbu



How large is the climate footprint of organized sport and which aspects of sporting activity (such as facilities, transport and equipment) lead to the greatest emissions? What are effective measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases? How do leaders in sports organizations relate to knowledge about organized sports' climate footprint? And how can sports organizations succeed in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from sports activities? These are central questions in the project From Climate Knowledge to Climate Action in Sport (CAS).

National and international climate goals require social change, which sports organizations also have to deal with. In its work to develop a sustainability strategy, the Norwegian Sports Confederation has pointed to goal 13 - Stopping climate change - as one of five priority sustainability goals, and as the area of effort where the sports organization has the greatest potential for improvement. Several special associations and sports events have made similar priorities and put climate measures on the agenda.

The main aim of CAS is to investigate how good climate measures in sports organizations are created on the basis of knowledge about sports' climate footprint. The project combines life cycle analyzes to calculate emissions of greenhouse gases from selected sports activities, natural experiments to test the effect of various measures, and sociological investigations of how sports organizations can succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from sports activities. The project mainly concerns skiing, motorsport and football.

Sports organizations’ efforts against climate change are particularly interesting for several reasons. Firstly, previous research indicates that sport's climate footprint is significant. Sports organizations’ climate efforts will thus be important quantitatively. Secondly, different sports are affected by climate change as well as climate policy. This gives us, thirdly, the opportunity to study how measures are created in light of uncertain future prospects, for example when it comes to snow conditions (ski sports) and environmental requirements for equipment (motor sports). Fourthly, organized sport forms a large part of the voluntary sector, and knowledge about climate measures in sport will have transfer value to voluntary organizations more generally


The project consists of five parts (work packages). In the first of these, Cicero carries out concrete measurements of the climate footprint linked to selected sports and assesses how various measures can work in relation to the climate footprint of these sports. In part two, Cicero conducts various experiments to see how simple measures can contribute to reducing the climate footprint associated with transport. In part three, NIH will examine how a selection of sports club leaders understand the climate challenge and how they envisage various measures in response to this challenge. The fourth part follows the work on climate in three parts of sport: the Football Association, the Ski World Championship (2025) and the Motorsport Association. The fifth part will answer theoretical issues

The project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council and a collaboration with Center for International Climate Research -  CICERO