Sport

Meet the athletes going to bat against climate change

By Natalie Kainz, CNN

Published 0811 GMT (1611 HKT) July 26, 2022
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Lesein Mutunkei, an 18-year-old from Kenya, started Trees4Goals in his home country in 2018. For every goal he scores on the football pitch, he plants 11 trees -- and helps others do the same. Here, he's pictured holding a sapling that will be used for a tree planting session with a local school. Look through the gallery for more athletes using their platform to draw awareness to the climate crisis. CNN
Forest Green Rovers is the world's first UN-certified carbon-neutral football club. The professional club, which plays in England's third-tier, uses 100% renewable energy to mow and water its pitch, power the stadium lights, and even make the uniforms. Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Surfers for Climate is an Australian-based charity mobilizing surfers to take action to protect the ocean. The group has organized campaigns to prevent offshore oil and gas drilling, expand Australia's network of surfing reserves, and end the sport's reliance on fossil fuels. Surfers for Climate
Retired South African tennis player and former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson is a strong advocate for sustainable practices in pro-tennis. He has used his platform to educate the tennis world about plastic ocean waste, and led efforts to make the ATP World Tour more sustainable. Alex Pantling/Getty Images
Players for the Planet, an organization dedicated to developing an environmentally sustainable sports industry, participates in a beach cleanup. Founded by former Major League Baseball player Chris Dickerson, the group works with professional athletes and sports teams to reduce plastic waste. Players for the Planet
Professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones wants to protect the future of winter sports from climate change. He started the campaign Protect Our Winters to unite other athletes in the same mission. In 2017, he testified about the impact of climate change on the snowboarding community in front of the US Congress. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Australian men's cricket team captain Pat Cummins has been advocating to reduce the game's carbon footprint. Cummins recently launched the group Cricket for Climate to provide grassroots clubs with solar power. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for the Australian Cricketers' Association
Five-time NBA All-Star and Golden State Warriors basketball player Klay Thompson volunteers with the Green Sports Alliance. The NBA partnered with the Green Sports Alliance to raise awareness and funds for protecting the environment. NBA Green
Former Australian rugby player David Pocock wants athletes to help him tackle climate change. The retired Wallabies flanker is using his platform to encourage the sporting world to reduce its carbon footprint -- and was recently elected to the Senate. Francois Nel/World Rugby/Getty Images
Kenyan Olympic gold medalist and marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge wants to help the world outrun deforestation. The distance runner spoke about forest loss at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in 2021, and has adopted more than 120 acres of forest in the Kenyan highlands. Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool/AFP/Getty Images