Major League Baseball’s (MLB) New York Yankees have become the first major North American sports team to sign up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
Launched by the United Nations’ (UN) Climate Change division in 2018, the initiative aims to encourage sports organisations to drive climate awareness and action, as well as measure, reduce and offset their emissions.
By committing to the framework, the Yankees have agreed to undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility; reduce overall climate impact; educate for climate action; promote sustainable and responsible consumption; and advocate for climate action through communication.
The overall aim of the framework is to bring greenhouse emissions in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which was agreed in December 2015 and starts in 2020.
Commenting on the addition of the Yankees, UN secretary general António Guterres said: “With their rich winning tradition, the Yankees bring a new level of leadership to global efforts to tackle climate change. When it comes to safeguarding our future, it’s time to play ball.”
The Yankees join a number of other international sporting organisations that have already committed to the initiative, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fifa, the French Tennis Federation, Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, Rugby League World Cup 2021, Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, Uefa, World Surf League, Formula E, and various others.
Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change executive secretary, added: “We need leading organisations like the Yankees to stand up for ambitious action on climate change for the good of the planet and present and future generations.”
The move comes shortly after the Yankees hired Allen Hershkowitz as their environmental science adviser, with a specific focus on energy use, waste management, water conservation and food services at Yankee Stadium.