The New Zealand SailGP Team has strengthened its commitment to sustainability by signing the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
New Zealand SailGP Team co-CEOs Peter Burling and Blair Tuke signed the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework on behalf of the team at a special ceremony aboard the Waka Hourua Haunui in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour today.
The New Zealand SailGP Team becomes the first New Zealand team to sign the framework, and joins five other SailGP teams as well as the SailGP league in doing so as part of the league’s commitment to achieving sustainability targets.
The objective of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework is to achieve a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change, and to use the unifying power of sports to drive climate awareness and action.
By signing the framework, the New Zealand SailGP Team commits to undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, reducing its overall climate impact, educating for climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication.
Burling said: “Climate change is placing our planet at risk and meeting the scale of this challenge requires action from everyone. As a team, we have an opportunity to step up to the challenge of climate change and inspire our fans to do the same.
“By signing this framework, we are taking responsibility for our actions and joining a movement that will set the path for our sport to play a winning role in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
As part of its commitment to sustainability, the New Zealand SailGP Team will race with purpose this season, working with its Race for the Future charity partner Live Ocean, the marine conservation organisation founded by Burling and Tuke.
Tuke said: “The New Zealand SailGP Team is passionate about the ocean and the global platform of SailGP is a powerful way to take the important message of ocean restoration and protection to the world.
“The connection between the ocean and climate is clear – to have a healthy planet we must have a healthy ocean, and by signing the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework we are committing ourselves to bringing awareness to the critical role the ocean plays in a healthy future.”
Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, Sector Engagement Lead, UN Climate Change said: “We are pleased to welcome the New Zealand SailGP Team as a signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. The team is sending a signal about the growing importance of climate ambition, particularly in the context of healthy oceans. We look forward to working together with the New Zealand SailGP Team to deliver on the goals of the Framework and secure a climate-safe world for sailing.”
Before signing the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, the team gathered on the oceangoing waka hourua, Haunui. Tohunga waka (waka expert), Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr welcomed the team aboard the traditional sailing waka and delivered a karakia to wish the team a safe journey to Bermuda.
Climate action is at the heart of SailGP’s sustainability strategy; measuring, reducing and continually challenging operations to reduce impact and has set a target of 55 percent reduction by 2025. SailGP is the first climate positive sports and entertainment property and the first sports league to achieve both the Carbon Neutral International Standard and the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative participation.
SailGP is committed to a better future for the sport and championing a world powered by nature and helping to accelerate the transition to clean energy.
SailGP director of purpose and impact Fiona Morgan said: “It’s great to see the New Zealand SailGP Team being the first sports team in its country to sign the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. Our teams and athletes have an important role to play in inspiring the world and showing performance is not only on the ocean but for the ocean and the planet.
“Sustainability is at the heart of the New Zealand SailGP Team, working with Live Ocean, and together with all our teams, we are 100 percent committed to using our collective voices to champion a better world powered by nature and make a difference.”
The New Zealand SailGP Team flies to Bermuda on April 15 to prepare for its inaugural season with SailGP, starting with the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess on April 24-25, 2021.