Serie A footballer Morten Thorsby changed his squad number to ‘2’ this season to raise awareness of the Paris Agreement aim to ensure global temperature increases do not exceed 2°C.
The Norwegian international then set up non-profit organisation We Play Green, to uncover what football can do to benefit the climate more and what strides can be taken by players to raise more awareness of the issue.
future Net Zero spoke with ex-Eredivisie player Maarten de Fockert from We Play Green on the progress the organisation has made so far, how the game must adapt and change to become a part of the wider conversation of climate change and the current footballing stars they are looking to recruit.
Thorsby’s decision to change his number has garnered great media attention and Maarten believes this is just the tip of the iceberg on what can be achieved.
He said: “If you see the amount of attention that only that action got then it’s pretty ridiculous.
“[Footballers’] influences are just so big and we really believe that if we use our voices as players and the football community as a whole, we can influence a lot of people to make better decisions and make the world cleaner and a better place.”
“Specifically on climate change – one of the good parts we have as football players is people are really loyal to you and to your club. So they will keep coming to the stadiums even if you speak up.
“Normally, people maybe aren’t that interested in environmental activism but we can help them get used to the ideas and all the information. Football can really bring people together,” he added.