Sport England’s funding will now be linked to a club’s commitment to fight the climate crisis, the organisation announced.
“Without veering into hyperbole, it’s so that we don’t all die,” said Sport England chairman Chris Boardman.
The sports authority invests over £300m of public funds into numerous organisations, including major sporting bodies such as the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Rugby Football Union.
Meetings with sports groups will begin next month, the chair said, while unveiling the organisation’s plans.
The move proposes that access to funding, which requires groups to sign Sport England’s code of conduct, will now include a requirement for bodies to outline plans to fight the climate crisis.
He added that Sport England wanted to move from “informing and encouraging” groups, to “enabling and requiring” them to stick to climate commitments.
“Sport England is an organisation that has huge influence,” he said. “We deal with hundreds of partners, who deal with millions of people. So we have a responsibility to do something, and we are going to.
“I feel both good about it and quite scared at the same time, because it is so big,” he concluded.
The body said it plans to work closely with sports groups to help them decarbonise and better protect the environment.