World Athletics aims to be carbon neutral by 2030

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - World Athletics Council Meeting - Monaco - November 22, 2019 President Sebastian Coe during a press conference REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

(Reuters) - The governing body of athletics aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, it said on Tuesday, recognising that the sport has a significant environmental footprint.

Promising to cut its carbon output by 10% a year, World Athletics said in a statement that it would cut travel and rely more on local expertise, and that all events sanctioned by it would also have to commit to carbon neutrality targets.

Sebastian Coe, the World Athletics president, said that athletes and fans “expect us to be a good global citizen, to take a leadership role in issues that affect the wider world and their communities.”

In a 66-page document it said that athletics, including major world championships, produced “a significant carbon footprint” and that “travel-related carbon emissions represent one of the main environmental impacts associated with sport.”

It added: “Athletics is a global sport with many of the highest-level athletes coming from areas that will be most impacted by changing climate, increased desertification leading to lack of rains for crops, for example.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Hugh Lawson