Munster Rugby has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2040.

The province is one of a number of signatories to the Sports for Climate Action Framework (SC4A), which is run by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Other organisations to have signed up include the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, Athletics Kenya, BBC Sport, the Premier League and Formula E.

This comes in response to the scientific consensus that the world needs to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero before 2050.

This framework aims to gather sports organisations, teams, athletes, and fans in a concerted effort to set the pace for climate action and raise awareness on the urgency required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Munster Rugby Chief Operating Officer Philip Quinn said: "We believe we can play a very positive role in the fight against global warming.

"With this in mind, we signed up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework last May and have been reviewing how we do things regarding our impact on the environment.

"Since the redevelopment of Thomond Park in 2008, we have taken a lot of significant steps to reduce our emissions.

"By working with our energy partner, Pinergy, we have moved both Thomond Park and Musgrave Park to green energy.

"We completed the installation of LED floodlights in Thomond Park earlier this summer, we also replaced all emergency lighting with LED bulbs and retrofitted waterless urinals in Thomond Park.

"We are working very closely with our kit supplier, adidas, whereby over 75% of our kit is made from recyclable material.

"It is great to have their expertise to hand as their aim is to have 90% of their products made from sustainable material by 2025.

"We have further plans to replace the floodlights in Musgrave Park with LED lights next year and also, we are looking to install solar panels on the roof of the stand in Musgrave Park.

"We are in the process of measuring our carbon footprint right now and once that is complete we will be in a position to identify the exact measures that are required in order to align with the targets.

"We are also hopeful that by showing how seriously we take our environmental impact, we can drive climate awareness and action."

Patricia Espinosa (r)

Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change executive secretary, said at the launch of framework targets at COP26: "Four years since we launched the Sports for Climate Action Framework, more than 280 sports organisations have committed to the overarching objectives of aligning sport with the goals of the Paris Agreement,"

"The sector eagerly took up the challenge, but also told us that they want to do more and to do it faster.

"These organisations are now being challenged to reduce emissions 50% by 2030 at the latest and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040."

In addition, Munster, the 2006 and 2008 European champions, and the other signatories have committed to submitting plans to outline concrete actions that will be taken to implement 2030 targets as well as report on overall progress with commitments on annual bases.

It was also announced today that Sports for Climate Action signatories who adopt these targets will officially enter Race to Zero, a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 733 cities, 31 regions, 3,067 businesses, 173 of the biggest investors, and 622 Higher Education Institutions.