Climate change is arguably the biggest threat faced by each and every one of us across the globe, and one that will define our generation as well as those to come.

Despite the global impact of this crisis, it is those already facing hardship on a social and economic level that will be hit the hardest. Disabled people are disproportionately affected by the negative effects of climate change, due not only to potential increased vulnerability to extreme climate events, but also to limited access to knowledge, resources, and services to effectively respond to environmental change.

Dr Aleksandra Kosanic believes that global environmental change should be considered a disability rights issue. She writes, “The problem is that disabled populations have, until now, been mostly absent from the global conversation. This is true for policy-making as much as it is for the scientific debate around environmental change”.

CAFE understands that we all have a duty to protect our planet, its environment and biodiversity and is supportive of our partner UEFA’s sustainability efforts. In 2018, UEFA joined the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework an initiative that aims to minimise the threat posed by climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement of 2015.

As part CAFE’s own commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular Goal 13: Climate Action, we have pledged to offset unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions in relation to events and travel.

In 2019/20, CAFE has worked with our fellow UEFA Football and Social Responsibility partner, South Pole, to support projects and causes aimed at establishing a net-zero carbon footprint.

We have been awarded two certifications, relating to emissions from our 2018 International CAFE Conference in Bilbao, and relating to emissions from unavoidable air travel in 2019/20.

The team has also used this time during the global pandemic to reflect upon how we run our trainings and workshops, and how we may be able to reduce our impact on the environment in the long term.

There is a long journey ahead of us, but CAFE is committed to playing our part in creating a sustainable and greener environment for everyone.