In a Ministerial Mandate letter, the cabinet instructed sports organizations in Canada, including minor leagues, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the directive also proposed athletes be spokespersons for climate change.“Work with the sports sector to find solutions to reduce its environmental footprint as well as better involve our athletes in the conversation on the fight against climate change,” the prime minister wrote in the Mandate letter to Sport Minister Carla Qualtrough. “Achieve results for Canadians by delivering.”No minor sports association in Canada has measured its carbon footprint. However, in a 2014 Sustainability Report, the National Hockey League (NHL) stated that in a typical season, professional hockey games in Canada and the US generated the equivalent of 400 tonnes of emissions per game. This calculation considered factors such as jet fuel for road games and the electricity required to operate arenas.In 2021, the Environmental Science and Technology journal analyzed emissions from the NHL, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Football League. The study found professional sports teams collectively covered a distance of 7.5 million kilometres each year. This information was presented in the essay COVID-19 Disruption Demonstrates Win-Win Climate Solutions For Major League Sports.Researchers have calculated professional athletes in Canada and the US take approximately 5,600 flights annually using private jets and charter aircraft.“Emissions from these flights totalled 121,841 tonnes of carbon dioxide,” said Environmental Science.The Ministerial Mandate letter did not explain which athletes should act as climate change spokespeople. The suggestion to “involve our athletes in the conversation” follows a 2019 proposal from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society to have TV weather forecasters become climate change promoters as “beloved members of their communities.”TV forecasters could be instructed to explain “how leaves are changing later in the season,” “how the ski season is becoming shorter” or why local farmers encountered “changes in the crop yields,” said a Society Bulletin. The proposal was not without risk, it added.“The reason people watch the weather is for weather forecast information,” said the Bulletin. “Including content about climate change could be poorly received by certain audiences and unacceptable to station management.”The Bulletin pointed out television presenters who report on the weather are typically not experts in atmospheric science. They usually have only two or three minutes to convey the main points about current weather patterns and may struggle to explain the effects of climate change.“The relationship between climate change and local weather is not straightforward,” said the commentary Weathercasters As Climate Change Communicators.“Communicating about climate change is a tricky business,” said the Bulletin.