Bohemians Football Club and Friends of the Earth Unite to Score Big on Climate Action

23 februari 2024

Bohemians Football Club and Friends of the Earth Unite to Score Big on Climate Action

Bohemians Football Club and Friends of the Earth join forces to brief politicians in Leinster House on new research which examines how sports clubs can engage fans and members on community-led climate action, specifically home retrofitting and heat pump installation.

The innovative project also showcases Bohemians’ commitment to co-developing community-specific solutions. Through dialogue with fans and expert stakeholders, tailored finance options, trust-building initiatives with local contractors, and the formation of a local Sustainable Energy Community have emerged as key strategies to enhance energy efficiency initiatives amongst Irish fans.

A result of collaboration between Friends of the Earth and Bohemian FC, Levelling The Playing Field report sheds light on Bohemians’ unique approach to community engagement. The club initiated direct consultations with its members and fans, seeking diverse perspectives on retrofitting and energy efficiency. This involved engaging with expert stakeholders, including the local Credit Union, SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland), industry professionals, and Codema (Dublin’s Energy Agency).

This collaborative effort not only emphasizes the importance of community involvement in combating climate change but also sets a precedent for other sports clubs to follow suit. By leveraging the reach and influence of sports clubs, climate action is no longer an abstract concept but a tangible and relatable goal for everyday people.

“This project is not just a testament to what is possible when community, trust, and collective action converge. We are delighted to be partnering with Friends of the Earth to demonstrate how the power of football can mobilise and inspire diverse groups, making climate action accessible and engaging for everyone. This is just the beginning of our journey and we hope to build on the solutions outlined in the report. It reflects a shared commitment to not just envision a more sustainable and equitable future but to actively participate in its creation.”

Seán McCabe, Head of Climate Justice and Sustainability at Bohemians FC

“The benefits of climate action, such as warmer homes and lower energy bills from home retrofitting, will have to be felt by everyone if the government’s climate policies and targets are to be successful. Our work with Bohemians marks a fundamental shift towards demystifying climate action by making it more relevant to communities and engaging communities directly. 

The government should now look to initiate these types of partnerships with communities and sports clubs across Ireland to leverage their influential platforms for promoting community engagement related to climate awareness and action.”

Clare O’Connor, Energy Policy Officer at Friends of the Earth

This partnership advances the research findings from the Football for Climate Justice project which is one of EFDN’s main projects.

About Football for Climate Justice project

Welcome to Football for Climate Justice, a groundbreaking project that brings together European football clubs, associations, and researchers to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our time: the climate crisis.

Football has the power to inspire millions of people around the world, and with that comes a responsibility to use that influence for good. That’s why we’re harnessing the passion and resources of the football community to drive positive change in the fight against climate change.

Our mission is to create practical solutions that reduce the carbon footprint of football while also improving the lives of fans and their local communities. We’re collaborating with leading researchers to identify the most effective ways to reduce emissions from football operations, while also exploring innovative ways to use football as a tool for social and environmental progress.

Through Football for Climate Justice, we’re building a powerful network of football clubs and associations committed to making a difference, and we invite you to join us. Whether you’re a fan, player, coach, or administrator, your support can help drive the change we need to protect our planet for future generations. Together, we can make a real difference in the fight against climate change.