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KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima

From climate knowledge to climate action in sport

Alternative title: Fra klimakunnskap til klimahandling i idrett

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

What is organized sport's climate footprint, and what aspects of sporting activity generate the largest greenhouse gas emissions? What are efficient measures to reduce sport’s climate footprint? How do leaders of sport organizations understand climate change as a policy domain, and how do they conceive of new knowledge on their organizations’ climate footprint? How can sport organizations succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions? These are core questions of CAS. National and international climate targets require societal transition, including transition that affect sport organizations. The Norwegian Confederation of Sport (NIF) has named goal 13 – climate action – as a prioritized sustainable development goal, and as the policy domain where organized sport in Norway has the greatest potential for improvement. Several sport federations and events under the NIF umbrella have made similar prioritizations and placed climate action on the agenda. The main purpose of CAS is to study how measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions emerge and develop in sport organizations, in the context of new knowledge on sport’s climate footprint. The project combines Life Cycle Assessment to estimate emissions from selected sporting activities, natural experiments to test the effect of selected measures, and sociological studies of how sport organizations develop measures and succeed, or fail, to reduce emissions from sporting activities. The project’s primary focus is on the Norwegian Skiing Federation and the 2025 World Skiing Championships in Trondheim, the Norwegian Motor Sport Federation and the Norwegian Football Federation. In different ways, these federations are affected - some at their very heart: the activity - by climate change as well as climate policy. This gives us the opportunity to study how measures emerge in the context of an uncertain future, for instance in terms of snow conditions (ski sport) or environmental standards for core equipment (motor sport).

Climate change is among the largest challenges of our times and reaching international and national goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-reduction requires societal transition. CAS will study how sport affects the climate and how actors in sport (individuals, clubs and organizations) respond to scientific documentation of sport’s climate footprint. Accordingly, CAS will develop two types of knowledge: First, documentation of the problem (i.e. sport’s climate footprint) and, second, knowledge on how actors in sport, faced with this documentation, (a) understand and culturally frame the climate issue and (b) act and develop solutions. CAS achieves this through five work packages. WP1 maps the impact of organized sports on the climate. From there, the crux of the project is to study how actors in the field of sport can digest and apply this new climate knowledge. WP2 investigates individuals’ travel behavior in relation to sport and develop and test interventions to influence behavior. WP3 asks how leaders of sport clubs frame the climate issue and how they imagine organizational responses. Through ethnographic methods, WP4 observes three sport organizations’ responses over time to understand processes of organizational structuring. WP3-4 build on existing theories (framing and structuring) applied to a new field (sport, climate) in an original context (voluntary sector). WP5 explores how these studies contribute to the further development of the theoretical literature on cultural framing and organizational structuring. Central to CAS will be the interdisciplinary collaboration between experts on climate impact and mitigation, climate policy, organizational studies, sport policy and sport sociology at NSSS, CICERO and among international partners.

Funding scheme:

KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima