The message of UEFA’s new ‘#EveryTrickCounts’ climate campaign risks being undermined by the organization’s ongoing sponsorship deal with one of the biggest emitting companies in history, Gazprom.
In announcing the campaign today, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin noted that “football has the potential to dramatically shift mindsets on climate change” because of its significant audience.
Yet just this year, UEFA signed a deal with Gazprom to be a major sponsor of the Euros and the Champions League. In doing so, it gave a platform to a company that continues to pursue a future for fossil fuels despite the warnings of scientists and the International Energy Agency.
Gazprom scores an E+ on InfluenceMap’s tracking of corporate lobbying on climate, indicating it is significantly misaligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. This extends to the European Union, where Gazprom has lobbied to weaken a number of the EU’s climate policies.
Notably, in April 2020, Gazprom’s Deputy Chairman Oleg Aksyutin gave an interview in which he appeared to deny the scientific consensus on climate change, stating: “no-one knows the actual reasons behind the global climate change” and “none of the climate models existing today can be considered definitive from a scientific point of view”.
Gazprom is noted by the Carbon Majors database as ranked 4th globally in historical cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases.
InfluenceMap Program Manager Faye Holder said: “There seems to be a significant disconnect between UEFA’s public rhetoric on climate change and its sponsorship deal with Gazprom.
“If UEFA’s commitment to raising awareness of the climate emergency using football’s global reach is sincere, it is difficult to see how this can be reconciled with sponsorship from one of the biggest CO2 emitters in history – especially one that does not yet appear to recognize the need to rapidly move away from fossil fuels as the world’s scientists state is needed.
“If every trick counts, then UEFA should probably review its decision to partner with Gazprom.”
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Simon Cullen, Communications Manager, InfluenceMap (London)
E: simon.cullen ( @ ) influencemap.org