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Esclusiva – L’intervista di Michele Uva (UEFA Director Sustainably) al Cop28

La “Cop28”, l’edizione 2023 della Conferenza delle Nazioni Unite sui cambiamenti climatici, si tiene a Dubai dal 30 novembre al prossimo 12 dicembre 2023, per fare il “tagliando” dell’accordo di Parigi del 2015.

La prima COP (COP 1) si è tenuta a Berlino nel ’95, come risultato dei negoziati di Rio del ’92. Ai tempi del protocollo di Kyoto (COP 3- 1997) i Paesi firmatari erano 84, oggi sono 197, in pratica quasi tutto il mondo.

Durante il Congresso internazionale, lo scorso 8 dicembre all’Action Arena 1 (Al Hur), si è tenuta una interessante “finestra”, dal titolo “The Power of Sport for Climate action”. All’intervista one-to-one (condotta dal giornalista di Sky Uk David Garrido) ha partecipato in esclusiva il dirigente italiano Michele Uva (già DG della FIGC oggi UEFA Director Sustainably – nella foto in primo piano), che ha parlato delle “azioni” che verranno messe in campo durante “Euro2024″, prossima edizione degli Europei di calcio (evento a marchio UEFA) in programma in Germania dal 14 giugno al 14 luglio (la nazionale italiana è tra le 24 selezioni qualificate di diritto).

Di seguito pubblichiamo integralmente, in lingua inglese, il Q&A di questo intervento inserito nei diversi momenti di confronto/riflessione del Cop28.

Q. by David Garrido (SKY UK)

To organize Euro 2024, the UEFA ESG strategy centred around a holistic approach to sustainability to set a benchmark for future sporting events.Can you tell us a bit more about that?

A. Sustainability was one of the pillars of German’s bid for the candidacy to host E2024. Two years ago, thanks to our President Ceferin and Martin Kellen the CEO of Uefa Events,we decided that sustainability should have been the key of success of the tournament. This why we developed a dedicated and ambitious ESG strategy with support of all stakeholder that now is perfectly integrated in all organizational processes with clear targets and KPIs. Obviously published on our website to guarantee the transparency of our commitment. Let me call it “the great opportunity” for all.

2. Q. As founding signatory of the Sport for Climate Action Framework , how important is it for a governing body like Uefa to deliver sustainable football, and to keep starving for these goals genuinely?

We are always proud to be among the founders of this movement. We believe in it.  Sport, Climate, Action are three beautiful words that must increasingly become symbiotic. No doubt one needs the other. Five points do it. We need to have: people who believe in this path, clear strategic thinking, achievable targets, an action plan, and then measure and report. Uefa is moving in this direction convinced that we must play our part first, asking to the football ecosystem to contribute to change. It is not difficult, you just have to want it.

Q. The Germany 2024 sustainability strategy is incredibly detailed. What’s the fundamental thinking behind it?

Fundamental thinking behind it is the goal to move to actions, to reduce our carbon footprint, to inspire our fans, to engage our partecipating national federations creating the benchmark for sport events and having sustainability in all organizational processes. Our ESG Strategy is developed not only for Germany 2024 but in all our 19 events from U.17 to the two big EUROs. In the 22/23 season we put in place 459 actions across 12 Uefa finals. We must raise the bar inspiring our football stakeholders and possibly all sport organization.

Q. What about the budget side of things?

A.If you want be the leading sport organization when it comes to social and environmental sustainability you need to back that up with financial commitment. Uefa invested 32 milion Euro in all the three dimensions of the ESG strategy. The largest part will be dedicated to the emission reduction programme linked to mobility, waste, energy and water and 7 million will be invested in a dedicated Climate Investment Fund to finance green projects in Germany across football clubs. Amateurs and professionals. It’s a new path instead of offsetting and we believe that is an innovative way to use financial resources.

Q. One of the biggest success will be that collaboration element, how every event stakeholder has played its part. So is football teaching politics how it’s done at COP28?

A. The collaboration with UN is a great source of inspiration for us. It’s critical to success and we must take by example our sport. Football is a team activity. You need all team members to win: president, coaches, officials, players, doctor ,physiotherapist, warehousemen, administration etc… You need to train together everyday and you have to pay attention to all the details. For Euro 2024  we and all stakeholders are working together in the same direction, with the same passion and that is exciting. We know that the tournament doesn’t last 1 month, but it can indeed must create a legacy for ever.


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