Will national teams become champions for sustainable travel during Euro 2024?

March 4, 2024

13 NGOs across Europe have asked their national football teams to commit to traveling sustainably for the European Championships 2024, avoiding flying and choosing means of transport like rail to and/or within Germany.

Transport accounts for more than a third of CO2 emissions, and the majority of these harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) come from road transport and flying. Changing how we travel is critical to the pledge of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming  below 1.5 °C. Football  teams could play an important role in this fight against climate change.

That’s why 13 NGOs are coming together to ask their national football teams to use their influence as a role model, both on and off the pitch, to help change people’s ways of thinking and travel behaviour and lead by example when it comes to the their transport choices.

The NGOs are asking that they commit to travelling sustainably for the European Championships 2024, choosing low-emitting means of transport like rail and avoiding high-emitting flying, to and/or within Germany. 

The UEFA and the German railway company Deutsche Bahn signed a deal to incentivise supporters to travel to and inside Germany by rail. This is an opportunity and an important step, and we believe that the national teams can not only match this, but go further. 

For example, if the French team took the train instead of the plane to travel from Paris to Dortmund (direct train) and get closer to their base camp in Paderborn, they would reduce their CO2 equivalent emissions by 98%. This is far from unrealistic. For the Paris Olympics, the national teams of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany have already committed to travelling to Paris by train in order to reduce their emissions.

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