At the end of the 2017 baseball season, I wrote a story for Our Positive Planet about the sustainability movement slowly evolving in Major League Baseball. Now, with the 2019 baseball season underway, I’m thrilled to write about a new sustainability advancement in the world of professional baseball—on April 3, 2019, the New York Yankees became the first North American professional sports team to sign onto the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework!
The intention of the framework, which was launched at COP 24 in December 2018, is “to gather sports organizations, teams, athletes, and fans in a concerted effort to raise awareness and action to meet the goals of the Paris [Climate Change] Agreement.” Sports organizations that sign onto the framework pledge support to the following climate principles:
- 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.
As one of the most prominent—and valuable— teams in the MLB, the Yankees are in a great position to be a positive climate influence for the other 29 MLB teams and for other sports leagues across North America. As my previous article acknowledged, the MLB is still fraught with environmental and social missteps, but if more franchises emerge as climate leaders, we could witness a whole new ball game.
What positive environmental changes have you noticed when attending your favourite sporting events?
Allison is a citizen arborist, travel fiend, amateur birder, and baseball nut who lives in Toronto with her husband and their two dogs, Buster and Fox.