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New report aims to prompt recognition of climate change threat to Australian Open

New report aims to prompt recognition of climate change threat to Australian Open
January 20, 2020

The Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub has produced a new report, Love 40 Degrees? Climate change, extreme heat and the Australian Open, which aims to prompt authorities to recognise the threat climate change presents to tennis and take action to safeguard its future as a summer sport.

With Januarys predicted to become hotter and this year’s Australian Open already marred by smoke from bushfires, new research finds:

  • Australian tennis is already experiencing the impact of climate change, with smoke from bushfires and extreme heat driven by climate change increasing health risks for players and the likelihood of match disruptions.
  • Tennis authorities should consider a series of actions to protect players, such as extending the length of the tournament – to allow games to be cancelled in the hottest part of the day if it’s too hot on court – or moving the event to November or March.
  • Climate change threats may soon represent ‘material financial issues’ for Tennis Australia and its directors, who could face liability under the Corporations Act for failing to adequately address and report these risks.

Gavan McFadzean, Climate Change Program Manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), which commissioned the research advises “climate change is already hitting the Australian Open hard, with its recent history of players competing in extreme heat and the lead up to this year’s tournament marred by smoke from bushfires.

“The number of days over 35° in Melbourne during January is predicted to increase in coming decades.

“Appropriate heat policies are important to protect player health, but so is action to combat climate change, which is driving this extreme heat and more ferocious bushfire seasons.

“Tennis authorities have a responsibility to recognise the threat climate change presents to the Australian Open’s future as a January tournament.

“We commend Tennis Australia for joining the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and urge it to raise its voice for strong, meaningful climate action from our government.”

Click here to read the full report.

Image shows the front cover of the report, with Julien Benneteau at the Sydney International tennis tournament. Photo. AAP

Related Articles

19th January 2020 - What court surfaces will the Australian Open be played on?

14th January 2020 - Melbourne’s poor air quality impacts Australian Open qualifier event

12th January 2020 - Royal Agricultural Society fears impact of bushfires on Sydney Easter Show

9th January 2020 - Bushfires have massive impact on Australian tourism industry

4th January 2020 - VTIC provides advice for businesses impacted by the bushfires

3rd January 2020 - Fears over smoke haze sees Tennis officials move Canberra International to Bendigo

3rd January 2020 - Bushfires predicted to have massive financial impact on Australian tourism industry

21st December 2019 - Smoke from bushfires forces abandonment of Big Bash League match in Canberra

12th November 2019 - Bushfires cause cancellation of Rally Australia World Championship event

25th October 2019 - Footprint of Australian Open set to expand in 2020

20th September 2019 - International sport bodies unite to combat climate change

6th June 2019 - Tennis Australia commits to United Nations climate change action

10th January 2019 - Melbourne Park ready for 2019 Australian Open

29th December 2018 - New Australian Open extreme heat policy to allow 10-minute breaks in men’s matches

10th October 2018 - 2019 Australian Open prepares to showcase ‘worlds best’ player facilities

18th January 2018 - Melbourne Park venues must be designed to cope with Australian Open heat

16th January 2014 - Climate Council: Australian heatwaves more frequent, hotter and longer


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