Dear friends in rugby,

In sport, the smallest of margins can make a difference – between a win and a loss, triumph or defeat.

Two degrees may not seem like much. But in a global climate context, the science is unequivocal – a two-degree rise in average global temperatures will have significant and far-reaching consequences for the health of our communities, our economies and our planet.

The global rugby family is already grappling with the far-reaching consequences of climate change, and we have a collective responsibility as custodians of the sport to tackle the challenges posed by these unprecedented environmental changes for future generations.

But to act, we must first understand.

We must understand the complex relationship between climate change and rugby. Understand how increasing temperatures will impact current and future rugby players’ health at all levels of our game. Understand how alteration to weather patterns and extreme climate events are already compromising our ability to enjoy rugby, on and off the field, in all corners of the world. Understand the consequences of unsustainable production practices and consumption patterns, and how changes to our planet’s climate will affect our business models, our capacity to adapt and mitigate to sustain rugby’s ecosystem, and indeed our way of life.

And crucially, understand the trends anchored in science so we can work together on meaningful and effective actions to safeguard the future of our sport.

Today, building on the ambitions of our Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030, and with the valuable input from a number of unions and independent experts, we are publishing a report to answer some of the key questions around climate change and rugby, by extrapolating the available scientific evidence and peer-reviewed studies and applying them in the context of rugby participation.

It is my sincere hope that the findings contained in the study will not only raise awareness within our family but also serve as a catalyst for collective action at all levels of the game; and that its recommendations will inspire initiatives, from carbon and waste reduction to biodiversity protection and promotion (such as Rugby for Nature), that foster sustainable practices, mitigation, adaptation and resilience within our sport.

The choices facing us may appear difficult and stark at first but in reality, when faced with the alternatives, they are really quite simple.

In the spirit of unity and shared responsibility, respect and solidarity, let us come together to protect the essence of our beloved sport and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future for generations of rugby players and enthusiasts to come – one that reflects our commitment to both the sport we love and the planet that sustains us.


Sir Bill Beaumont GBE DL