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RYA renews commitment to reducing carbon emissions

by Emma Cotton 9 Nov 2021 16:22 GMT
Laser and RS Dinghies on river © Sportography / Alex Irwin

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is proud to renew the commitment to reducing carbon emissions by adopting the United Nations Sports for Climate Action's new targets of reducing emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, and of reaching net zero emissions by 2040.

The RYA initially joined the United Nations Sports for Climate Action in February 2020 as a signatory under the original goals of reducing emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris agreement target of a 1.5C maximum global temperature rise. The updated targets come as a response to the recent scientific consensus that the world needs to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve overall net-zero before 2050.

By adopting these revised targets, the RYA has officially entered the Race to Zero, a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 733 cities, 31 regions, 3,067 businesses, 173 of the biggest investors and 622 Higher Education Institutions.

The UN Sports for Climate Action aims to position sports as an industry that sets the pace for climate action with the following five central principles:

  1. Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility;
  2. Reduce overall climate impact;
  3. Educate for climate action;
  4. Promote sustainable and responsible consumption;
  5. Advocate for climate action through communication
Since originally signing the declaration, the RYA has taken immediate action to reduce its environmental impact alongside the development and publication of both the RYA Sustainability Strategy and the RYA Carbon Pathway to Zero Report.

"The RYA is proud to support the targets of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and to encourage positive change across the sporting and recreational sector," commented Phil Horton, RYA Environmental and Sustainability Manager. "Since becoming signatories to the original targets last year, we have instigated a renewed focus on the sustainability of both the practices inside our organisation, as well as in the sport and wider boating community.

"We have been thrilled with the positive feedback we have received from both individual RYA members and RYA recognised clubs and centres. The targets are ambitious. However, as the governing body for boating, we recognise that we have a responsibility to lead the way with this initiative and to be a sustainability ambassador for the industry, a role that we take very seriously."

Read the RYA Sustainability Strategy and RYA Carbon Pathway to Zero Report in full on the RYA website.

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