More than 260 AFL and AFLW players across Australia have banded together to form super team AFL Players for Climate Action (AFLP4CA) to call for greater action to tackle global warming.
AFLP4CA was founded by North Melbourne player Tom Campbell and retired North Melbourne and Port Adelaide player Jasper Pittard and includes high profile players like Ben Brown and Daisy Pearce (Melbourne), Dyson Heppell (Essendon), Jordan Roughead (Collingwood), Erin Phillips (Adelaide), Luke Parker and Tom Hickey (Sydney), Luke McDonald and Emma Kearney (North Melbourne), Darcy Vescio (Carlton), Nicole Barr (Greater Western Sydney), Lincoln McCarthy (Brisbane) and Lachie Weller (Gold Coast)*.
Tom Campbell, co-founder who played 54 AFL games for North Melbourne and Western Bulldogs, said: “AFL Players for Climate Action helps players find solutions to reduce their own emissions, use their profiles to share personal experiences about climate change and builds support for greater climate action from clubs and fans.”
Campbell said the idea for AFL Players for Climate Action came about during conversations between his North Melbourne teammates during Australia’s Black Summer bushfires about how climate change is worsening extreme weather events .
“You don’t have to look far to see the devastation climate change is having on Australians, and our sport, including the impacts of extreme weather events. Extreme heat is putting our health at risk, floods are destroying fields for seasons, and the poor air quality from bushfire smoke even forced my team to train indoors during the Black Summer bushfires.
“I’m not a scientist, but I listen to the climate experts and they’re telling us we need to act now to tackle global warming. We all have a role to play,” said Campbell.
“Sporting clubs and codes can rapidly cut carbon pollution by changing the way they build venues and travel, and by using more renewable energy and cutting waste. We’ve already partnered up with Go Neutral to help AFL players offset their emissions – covering flights, ground transport and our personal vehicles,” said Campbell.
Jasper Pittard, co-founder who played 157 AFL games for North Melbourne and Port Adelaide, said: “Being involved in footy since I was a young kid, I know the power of teamwork and the importance of having a strong collective voice. That’s what we’re all about.
“Our recent survey of 580 AFL and AFLW players found 92 per cent were concerned about climate change with most unsure how they could be a part of the solution. Now, we can give AFL players and their supporters credible information from the experts to help normalise climate action across the country.
“Future generations of Australians deserve a chance to enjoy the game we’ve been lucky enough to play; for that to happen we need urgent and credible climate action at a national level as well. Most of our members already signed the Cool Down open letter calling for the federal government to cut Australia’s emissions by at least half by 2030 and reach net zero before 2050.
“Australia has a huge opportunity to be world leaders in the clean energy transformation – just look at our renewable energy resources. We want to be part of the winning team that helps to make this happen and helps safeguard the future of the people, the places and the sports we love.”
*AFL Players for Climate Action members include (Quotes attributable):
Melbourne AFL premiership winner Ben Brown: “I want to make sure my children get to enjoy the great outdoors, and summer sport, just like I did growing up in Tassie. We need to act now to avoid the worst climate impacts.”
Melbourne AFLW star and