Madrid, December 9th At COP25 this week, Vertis Environmental Finances and Planet Super League brought together five footballers who feel passionate about saving the planet through their commitment with sports including: 

  • • Luis Enrique, Spanish national coach, who sent a special video to the audience 
  • • Katie Rood, a forward with the New Zealand national team and Lewes FC 
  • • Elsa Baldasano, a junior with Atlético de Madrid girls 
  • • Roberto Solozabal, Olympic gold winner and legendary centre-half with Atlético de Madrid 
  • • Tenerife-born Getafe defender Bruno Gonzalez 

These footballers shared their personal stories and how they are taking action to fight against climate change. 

The COP is the annual global summit on climate change, with representatives from more than 200 countries meeting to negotiate global agreements on tackling the climate emergency. 

The footballers spoke about their commitments to taking action on climate change and the importance of caring for the planet. The former FC Barcelona and current Spanish national coach Luis Enrique called for cleaner cities, clean transport and an end to the destruction of tropical forest. “If we want to stop polluting companies, it is in our hands – we can choose not to buy from them”. 

Katie Rood spoke about the influence of footballers: “Footballers are so empowered to change people’s lives. We need to use that.” She has participated in Extinction Rebellion events, inspired by athlete Etienne Stott, and only eats plant-based foods. 

For Bruno Gonzalez, “nothing should be off-limits if footballers want to take action and use their influence to save the planet.” Elsa Baldasano had advice for Leo Messi, with his 138 million Instagram followers: “Just go on social media and tell them what to do!” Roberto Solozabal, who now runs an electric vehicle start-up, observed that “it is great if footballers say things, but it only makes sense if they really believe it. We need to change our mindsets if we want to become true leaders.”

FORCE panel at COP25 Madrid

About Planet Super League 

Planet Super League (“PSL”) is a private, purpose-led company backed by a group of EU-based entrepreneurs from the environmental and sports sectors. It is financed by its own funds and is also supported by Climate KIC, the EU’s climate innovation funding arm. Its initial activities are based in the UK. 

PSL has been set up to help football take the lead in tackling the climate emergency. It does this uniquely through creating fun, green challenges for fans to take part in. By taking part, fans win points for their clubs to help the clubs win the Planet Super League Trophy. 

PSL works in four areas – waste, energy, food and transport. It’s first programme is to help football go zero waste, thereby tackling problems such as ocean plastic and food waste. 

For further information please visit 

About Vertis 

Vertis Environmental Finance is one of the EU’s leading emission trading firms. It was set up 20 years ago (possibly 10 years too early) and now serves 800 industrial companies and 300 aviation firms worldwide, with a team of over 50 emissions trading professionals in Budapest, Madrid, Brussels and Warsaw. It is privately owned by current and former management. It is a financial services provider under the MIFID 2 directive. 

Vertis was co-founded by James Atkins, also the co-founder of Planet Super League. James is a passionate environmentalist, birdwatcher, failing vegan, and has supported Manchester United since about 1972. Ten years ago he wrote “Climate Change for Football Fans” a critique of contemporary climate policy written as a novel about a family of Burnley FC fans. This sparked his interest in the parallels between football and tackling climate change. 

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