The Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Energy Foundation have formed a partnership to encourage local sports clubs to switch to clean energy.
From our grassroots local clubs to the roaring stadiums of the finals, Australian sport is a uniting force of passion and pride for many in our communities, according to ACF’s campaign director, Paul Sinclair.
“At its best, Australian sport brings people together to achieve great things. Right now is one of those moments when Australia needs its sportspeople and fans to play like a great team,” Mr Sinclair said.
“Becoming pollution free in the next decade is critical to securing a thriving future for generations to come. Our sports communities can work together to help get on with the job of making our country a clean energy superpower,” he said.
“Are you part of a local sports club? We’re partnering with the Australian Energy Foundation to offer 75 free energy consultations for local clubs so they can work out a business case for going solar and becoming more energy efficient. Get your local club to make an expression of interest!
“It’s a win-win for any local club to go solar. It cuts climate pollution, saves on electricity bills, and helps inspire other groups in our communities to go 100% clean energy.
“If you’re on the committee of a local club already, express your interest to go solar now. Otherwise, get in touch with committee members at your local clubs to tell them about this free energy consultation!
“Making buildings that are used every day by communities – like sports stadiums, clubrooms and change rooms – powered by renewable energy so they cut pollution should be part of a national climate action plan.
“But right now, the Morrison Government is dropping the ball – they still have no real plan for our climate. While we keep building pressure to make our government step up, we must also walk the talk in our local communities – and seize the opportunities to make community buildings like sports clubs go solar.
“Like all aspects of our lives, sports face a growing threat from climate change – with grounds drying out, events disrupted and increasing health risks for players.
“The costs of missing these kinds of opportunities are huge. More catastrophic bushfires and weather events will destroy homes of people and wildlife. It’s up to all of us to act.
“The Powering the sports nation reports find installing solar panels on major sports stadiums and on the roofs of cricket, soccer and AFL head offices could generate around 20,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy – enough to power 2,890 households.
“Those three sports could save $3.7 million each year by becoming part of the solution to climate change. (Community clubs would have to cook about 2.5 million sausages in bread to raise that much money!) Those savings could be used to get more kids out playing in Australia’s beautiful parks.
“Some clubs are already leading the way. North Melbourne, St Kilda and Richmond football clubs have all installed substantial 100-kilowatt solar energy systems – and Richmond is the first AFL club to join the United Nation’s Sports for Climate Action Initiative.
“And there are so many great opportunities – like Metricon Stadium (Carrara), home of the Gold Coast Suns, with 1647 kilowatts of clean energy potential. Huge!
“Experts at the University of New South Wales estimate regional and community clubs could support solar energy generation of 100,000 megawatt hours each year!
“From the biggest stadiums to our local clubs, all sports communities can embrace climate solutions and inspire others to do the same.
“So let’s get on with it. Get your local club to make an expression of interest with the Australian Energy Foundation to go solar!”