French football

PSG become first French club to join UN effort to tackle climate change

French champions Paris Saint-Germain joined European giants Arsenal and Juventus as members of the UN's Sport for Climate Action programme.
French champions Paris Saint-Germain joined European giants Arsenal and Juventus as members of the UN's Sport for Climate Action programme. FRANCK FIFE AFP

French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Monday became the first French football club to join a special United Nations programme aimed at making sports more environmentally friendly in order to tackle global warming.

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The Ligue 1 pacesetters signed up with the Sport for Climate Action scheme which was launched at the UN's climate change confernce - COP24 - in Katowice in Poland in December 2018.

"We want to better structure the ecological actions we have implemented in recent years, to make them more effective in meeting the challenge of climate change," said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi.

"This is an important moment for Paris Saint-Germain," he added. "With the club joining the Sports for Climate Action, we're opening a new chapter in our commitment to the planet."

In January, PSG came under fire from Greenpeace France for using a private jet to take its players the 180km from Paris to Lens for the Trophée des Champions clash against Marseille.

Stung by the criticism and the bad PR, the squad returned to the capital - with the trophy - in a coach

Green

The club says its green credentials include a pledge to stop using disposable plastic at all its facilities by June and ensure appropriate waste containers at all of its nine sites.

It has highlighted the installation of solar panels to power the kitchens at the Parc des Princes and the creation of 10 honey-producing beehives as well as a vegetable garden for local schools to help with lessons about biodiversity.

"There is still a lot to do but we are on the right track," added Al-Khelaïfi. "Paris Saint-Germain is taking its responsibilities seriously and will involve its more than 100 million fans around the world to act together towards a sustainable future."

The French tennis federation - which hosts the French Open tournament - and the Paris 2024 Olympic organising committee were among the first French outfits to join the programme along with the International Sailing Federation and the World Surfing League.

English fourth tier club, Forest Green Rovers was the first football club to join. English top flight side Arsenal added its name to the scheme last November two months after the Italian champions Juventus became the 150th member of the programme.

"Not all signatories start from the same starting line," said Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, head of the Sports for Climate Action programme. "But we all have the same finish line. We are delighted that Paris Saint-Germain has joined the initiative.

"The club is committed to reducing its environmental footprint in line with the goals of the scientific world, and to mobilising athletes, fans and its community in this adventure. We hope the rest of French football will follow suit."

 

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