Dublin, February 27thWhatever about their performance in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Team Ireland yesterday became climate champions, having revealed that they will be teaming up with leading Irish NGO Vita to offset their travel to the 2020 Games.

The announcement came at the launch of the Olympic Federations of Ireland’s partnership with Qatar Airways in Dublin Airport yesterday afternoon, where athletes and officials gathered to show that Team Ireland is green in more ways than one.

Vita is known for delivering innovative development programmes in Africa that reduce carbon emissions while transforming the lives of women and their families by providing access to basic services such as clean water, safe and clean cooking, and climate-smart agriculture. Their carbon offset model, the Vita Green Impact Fund, is a global first for an NGO.

Given the immense social benefits of Vita’s programmes, Team Ireland’s decision to support Vita perfectly embodies the mantra of the 2020 Olympics: “be better, together – for the planet and the people.” This important climate responsibility taken by the Olympic Federation of Ireland is in keeping with Japan’s pledge to be the lowest-emission Olympic Games ever – a pledge that has seen the introduction of cardboard beds installed in the Tokyo athlete village.

Speaking on the announcement, Vita CEO John Weakliam said, “We are very proud that Team Ireland has chosen to collaborate with Vita on climate action. By offsetting their travel with us, the Olympic Federation of Ireland is supporting some of the world’s most disadvantaged families while demonstrating the importance of flying responsibly. Athletes are the heroes of many – Olympic athletes even more so. We’re thrilled that Team Ireland are now climate champions as well as sporting champions and hope this vital message will fan an Olympic flame of support in the race to tackle climate change.”