Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Sport in Society
For a Special Issue on
Sport and Climate Change
01 December 2023
Special Issue Editor(s)
Senior lecturer in Sport Science, Malmö University
Assistant Professor in Sport Science, Malmö University
Professor in Sport Science, Malmö University
Sport and Climate Change
Climate change already has affected sports in many ways. Athletes suffer from having to perform in extreme heat, winter events are cancelled due to lack of snow or moved because of warmer climate (Bernard et al., 2021). Some landscapes for training and competition are threatened by drought, erosion, and rising sea levels. These issues are becoming increasingly important and there is an urgent need for more research on how climate change will impact sports (McCullough & Kellison, 2018; Orr & Inoue, 2019). Simultaneously, there is also a growing awareness about how sports impact the environment in negative ways. Many sports have strong links to and appreciation of nature, yet their environmental impact remains problematic (McCullough et al., 2022; Svensson et al., 2023; Wilson & Millington, 2020).
The overall aim of this Special Issue is to pinpoint research-based options for sports to work proactively with climate change through informed management, combining innovation and tradition at a global scale. These include:
- the environmental potential of outdoor sports and traditional connections to nature (Schut, 2016)
- the role of technological innovation and new digital forms of training and competition to mitigate climate risk (Tjønndal et al., 2022)
- the role of sustainable development among instructors and guides in relation to sport landscapes and seasonality (Larneby, forthcoming) and
- the tensions between elite sport logics of performance and the ambition to reduce sports’ environmental impact (Svensson et al., 2023).
It is also important to address how different geographical regions will tackle the challenges and issues climate change poses to sport performance.
United Nations’ Agenda 2030 suggests 17 global sustainable development goals (SDG) which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. For instance, physical activity and health are intrinsic to human development of human beings and are addressed specifically in SDG 3, and yet there is an environmental cost to sport and physical activity. This contradiction raises challenges around how to achieve and sustain equal access to sport and physical activity at a global scale, and how to mitigate the impact on the local environment.
We welcome full papers on sport and climate change from several theoretical perspectives, geographical areas, and methodologies. We welcome submissions from various research themes regarding sport and climate change and the following are suggestions of topics of research:
- Challenges and opportunities in relation to climate change that sports face at local, national, and global scale.
- Empirical examples or cases of work with environmental sustainability in sports: in associations, sport clubs, or regional/national federations.
- The meaning of geographical place and space in relation to the environment, nature and climate change: outdoor sports, indoor sports, type of sport, and so on.
- The role of technological innovation and new digital forms of training and competition to mitigate climate risk.
- The environmental potential of outdoor sports and traditional connections to nature.
- The role of sustainable development among instructors and guides in relation to sport landscapes and seasonality.
- Tensions between elite sport logics of performance and the ambition to reduce sports’ environmental impact.
- How ‘sport for all’ is affected by climate change, for instance limitations or possibilities to participation for various groups; a need of changing ways to perform sport; and development of new sporting activities.
- Sportification and the need for specialized facilities or outdoor spaces to perform, train, and compete.
This issue will highlight the complexity of sport, climate change and environmental sustainability in several ways.
Publication: late 2024