A report has called for sport to step up to the plate regarding climate action ©17 Sport/Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University and 17 Sport, an impact company operating between sports, business and purpose, has called for sport to step up to the plate in helping to combat climate change.

A report titled "Stepping up to the plate: The crucial role sport must play in climate action" was published to coincide with the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP26 - in Glasgow.

Authors of the report outline ways sport is already activating to combat climate change, as well as highlighting why it must push harder and how the industry can bring climate action to life.

It concludes that the sports industry must contribute to climate action in three ways.

The report says the industry must clean its own house, suggesting the sector must become carbon neutral ahead of 2040.

The industry should also mobilise sports fans to take concrete action and use partnerships to facilitate innovation and sharing to create new technologies and infrastructure.

It is hoped this will help to expedite the transition to a carbon neutral world.

"Climate change is a real threat to the future of sport as we know it, but also to society and the planet," the report concludes.

"Urgent collective action is needed to turn the tide, significantly reduce CO 2 emissions and bring global temperature increases to below 2°C.

"Sport can and must play a leading role in the race towards a more sustainable world.

"With its global reach, influence, resources and its ability to inspire hope, sport must lead the charge."

"The industry must ramp up its efforts, move away from delivering quick wins and, instead, commit to a long term sustainability strategy across all sectors of the sports ecosystem," the report continues.

"Its message and actions must be a clear and authentic example to other industries of what can be achieved through a concerted effort.

"Fans are calling for the sports they follow and the athletes they love to show them the way.

"If the sports industry can collectively prioritise sustainability and change the way it operates at the scale necessary to make a noticeable impact, not only will we safeguard the future of the sports we love, but others will surely follow."

A series of sporting organisations have presented and made pledges during COP26.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) joined the United Nations' Race to Zero campaign, which is aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

The IOC was joined by 280 sports federations, including World Sailing, FIFA, Paris 2024 organisers, Formula E and the International Biathlon Union in joining the campaign.

The Race to Zero campaign aims to urge businesses, cities, regions and investors to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

A total of 733 cities, 31 regions, 3,067 businesses, 173 investors, and 622 higher education institutions have reportedly joined the campaign to date, along with 120 countries.

The report can be read in full here.