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Sport, Physical Culture, and the Environment: An introduction

We1 were excited that day in December of 2015 when world leaders in Paris announced that representatives of 196 countries—all living in very different circumstances, constraints, politics, and economic disadvantages—had committed to reducing their respective country’s environmental footprint. As Domonoske (2017) explains, it was the call of 2 degrees that catalyzed negotiations and moved the proverbial needle toward an accord. In technical terms, 2 degrees Celsius represents the need put forth by climate scientists to limit the global average temperature increase to under 2 degrees if we as a planet are to stave off irreversible global warming and climate catastrophe. Despite objections from some quarters of those in attendance—such as from small island nations whose representatives fought for a more stringent 1.5-degree Celsius limit—the developed world promised USD$100 billion toward greener energy sources as part of radically addressing climate change, and the outline of what became known as The Paris Agreement was formally adopted as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Domonoske, 2017). The world was moving toward saving itself—or so we thought.