August 10 – With the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders having declared a climate change emergency in the Pacific in July, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and FIFA have increased the pace of their agreement to help tackle the issues.
FIFA and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat signed two-year a Memorandum of Understanding in April focussed on climate change action and climate-proofing football infrastructure.
Now they have launched a 12-month plan to implement the climate change partnership. Key activities will include employing FIFA Legends to raise climate change awareness and adapting existing infrastructure in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to make it more climate proof.
PIF Secretary General Henry Puna said that both FIFA and PIFS are serious about addressing the climate emergency facing the region and building the resilience of vulnerable communities.
“The Pacific region recognises that 2022 is a defining year for urgent and strong climate action – where pledges and commitments need to be translated into action,” said Puna.
Key activities include:
- Creating a climate change literacy program for schools, and training to support climate change awareness by FIFA Legends;
- Joint communications and advocacy plan leading up to COP 27 and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand;
- Support climate proofing and retrofitting of football infrastructure in the Pacific;
- Convening a regional workshop on resilient football infrastructure development;
- Undertaking a regional football infrastructure audit; and
- Exploring collaboration with the Pacific Resilience Facility within the framework of the FIFA Climate Strategy.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “Football is certainly not immune to climate change and is affected at all levels, from grassroots and amateur to elite, with the Oceania region facing a particularly high risk of climate and disaster impacts.”
“At FIFA, we also have a duty to wider society: helping to draw attention to climate change and taking action against it in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions, is one of the best ways we can use football’s power and popularity to have a positive impact.”
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