UEFA’s Euro 2024 Climate Fund: Nearly €7 Million Allocated by UEFA


UEFA aims to offset the unavoidable carbon emissions of Euro 2024 through the creation of a Climate Fund, which finances environmental actions of amateur football clubs in Germany. The second round of funding took place a few days ago.

Compensation without reduction, let’s be clear, is commonly known as greenwashing. But in a reduction logic and to offset unavoidable carbon emissions, it can make sense. Since January 2024, UEFA has been aiming to offset the emissions from organizing Euro 2024 (held in Germany from June 14 to July 14) that it could not avoid. While the European federation assures that “major efforts have been made to reduce the environmental impact,” it also seems to acknowledge its share of responsibility and therefore wants to offset the unavoidable emissions through a Climate Fund, aimed at amateur football clubs in Germany.

UEFA stated in January that “for every ton of CO2 emitted as part of Euro 2024, €25 will be donated to the Climate Fund.” In total, nearly €7 million will be distributed to German clubs for environmental projects, which corresponds to the emission of 280,000 tons of CO2. For Euro 2020, held in 11 European countries, the carbon footprint was estimated at 450,000 tons of CO2, according to the federation’s estimates.

A few days ago, UEFA announced the distribution of a second round of funding, €1.9 million, to 81 German clubs (out of 2,019 applications), following an initial wave of €4.3 million in March, and a final one of €800,000 in July. “This significant investment in projects that will mitigate CO2 emissions in the long term will strengthen the legacy of Euro 2024 both within the German football community and for the environment,” explains the organization.

4,326 requests, 75% on energy To date, 161 clubs out of 4,326 that applied have received significant financial assistance from this Climate Fund for predefined projects inevitably linked to the areas of energy, water, waste management, or mobility, and for a maximum of €250,000 per project.

Energy resources are – by far – the most popular initiatives. “Out of 4,326 requests, 3,228 were for energy, 425 for water, 304 for mobility, and 74 for waste,” details UEFA. “The most popular initiatives are the installation of LED floodlights (1,715), photovoltaic solar panels (1,321), domestic batteries (894), smart irrigation systems (283), and heat pumps (278).”

While the creation of this fund aligns with UEFA’s ESG strategy and obligations, the process is often criticized. On the side of the German Football Association (DFB) and its president Bernd Neuendorf, it is praised: “In order to strengthen UEFA’s commitment to the environment and climate protection, the DFB has already launched, in partnership with the federal government, the project ‘Climate Protection in Amateur Football – Together on the Path to a Climate-Respectful Euro 2024’, which offers clubs a variety of incentives and support for their climate and environmental measures.”

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