Call for Papers | Frontiers Research Topic: “The Politics of Sport and the Climate Crisis”. Call ends June 30, 2023

Snow machine facilitates skiing in the time of climate crisis. (Shutterstock/Viacheslav Nikolaenko)

About this Research Topic

In 2018, the UN Sport for Climate Action framework was created, signaling recognition on the part of sports stakeholders about the need to address and respond to sport’s place in the climate crisis. While the importance of the issue is clear, significant political machinations and debates continue, many of which have served to prevent a clear and direct response to the crisis from within sport and on the part of sports stakeholders. According to Goldblatt (2023), these debates include (but are not limited to):

      1. The pursuit of individual, micro or consumer changes in response to climate versus structural changes in sport’s infrastructure and regulation
      2. Traditional transport infrastructure in and around sport versus the need to invest in active travel and urban public transport
      3. Voluntary versus statutory interventions in sport policy
      4. The roles and responsibilities of polities in the global South for responding to the climate crisis.

The goal of this research topic is to illuminate and further advance scientific understandings of these political debates (and others related to sport and the climate crisis). It seeks to unpack the geographical, cultural, sociological and/or organizational contexts in which these debates occur, the stakeholders involved, the issues at stake (money, prestige, control, brands, etc.) and the implications of these debates for moving sport closer to addressing the climate crisis.

In particular, the environmental politics of hosting sports events, particularly sports mega-events, which have long been recognized for their negative environmental impact and have therefore been the sites of debates about sport and climate, remain important research topics. The forthcoming Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Summer Games offer particularly salient case studies, given the urgency of responding to the climate crisis.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

      • Identifying stakeholders in the sport and climate relationship, and their perspectives.
      • Identifying (both theoretically and empirically) the terms of the debate around sport and climate. What is at stake and for whom?
      • Identifying political debates about hosting the Olympics during a climate crisis. Who advocates for hosting and who opposes, and why?
      • Examining climate activism in relation to sport, its stakeholders, and its potential impact on the debates.
      • Identifying sport and climate policies that may emerge from these debates, if any.


Sport, climate crisis, politics, environment, sports mega-events

Topic Editors

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Submission Deadlines

      • 30 June 2023 | Abstract
      • 30 September 2023 | Manuscript

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