Since I became president of the FIR in Aug 2018, I have always thought it was vital for us as an international federation to acknowledge the importance of climate change. The FIR organises and promotes a World Tour with over 20 tournaments across 15 different countries and therefore I believe we have an important responsibility to provide as much pro-active and useful information to our players so that they can plan their involvement on the Tour in the most environmentally effective way.
At the recent council meeting in Leipzig I’m proud to say that the Council approved our proposed FIR Climate Change Policy.
I would like to send a big thank you to both James Pope and Cedric Junillon whose expertise has helped put this policy together and who will both help continue to develop the policy over time.
The policy is not designed to force anyone to do anything. Rather it is a policy which is purely designed to provide valuable information to players so that they are then able to make informed environmental choices – in particular about how they choose to travel to tournaments.
Furthermore the policy will introduce special prizes and incentives for both players and tournament directors.
By creating our own Climate Change Policy, which will be continually developed over time, the FIR is setting a fantastic, pro-active example to other sports federations and as a start we have already had very productive and encouraging talks with the four world bodies of Table Tennis, Badminton, Squash and Tennis about following our example.
The 4 main points of the FIR Clilmate Change Policy are:
- To set an example and to encourage as many players as possible to do the same, the FIR will now pay to carbon off-set all flights of the FIR President – using the Swiss based myclimate.org
- In order to encourage players to take the train rather than fly to tournaments where possible, the FIR will pay for the singles entry of the player who has traveled the furthest by train to each SWT and World Champs tournament. (minimum distance: 600 km).
- FIR will offer a prize for the “greenest” tournament of the year (details of the prize and the criteria this will be based on will be decided by Cedric Junillon and James Pope and then sent to all Tournament Directors).
- Finally the FIR will now sign the Letter of Commitment for the United Nations “Sports For Climate Action”
Information about “Sports for Climate Action” can be found at their website: Sport For Climate Action
…and further details can be found in this document: Sport For Action Framework
James Pope and Cedric Junillon have put together a fantastic article explaining in much more detail how many small but good environmental choices that everyone in the Racketlon community can make, can all add up to make a significant impact.
About the Authors
Dr James Pope is a climate scientist in the UK Climate Projections team at the UK Met Office. James has a background in geology before moving into climate science in 2009, where he has worked ever since gaining a Masters from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD from the University of Leeds. Prior to the Met Office, he worked at the British Antarctic Survey, and has a decade of diverse climate research experience. James came to Racketlon in 2007, but it is fair to say he is far better at, and more knowledgeable of climate science than Racketlon!
Cédric Junillon graduated in Microrobotics which doesn’t have much to do with what later on became his major scientific areas of interest: energetical and environmental issues. He started Racketlon in 2009 and though now officially retired still has a passion for the game and the community!
Please read their article: FIR & Climate Change
FIR Executive President