Chicago Bulls player calls for urgent action to tackle climate change


Lauri Markkanen with his heat map basketball. Photo credit: Neste.

By Anders Lorenzen

Lauri Markkanen, a top player from the US basketball team Chicago Bulls, has joined the fight against climate change.

Lauri Markkanen has called for action in the wake of the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has teamed up with the Finnish renewables company, Neste, and the shoe designer of customized sneakers, Kickstradomis. The collaboration will see him shooting hoops with this year’s world heat map. The Scandinavian athlete is going to use his voice to highlight each and every individual’s role in combating climate change and demanding action to make a change.

Lauri Markkanen, who identifies as an environmentalist, is keen to explore a different way to highlight the climate crisis. The surface of his basketball is covered with a hand-painted visualization of this summer`s world record-high temperatures. This innovative project is seen as an urgent call for action in a year that has been dominated by extreme heat and wildfires, and where the scientific reality of climate change becomes clearer by the day.

Markkanen explains his motivations, “I have been lucky to spend my childhood in Finland, where I was able to enjoy the four seasons of the year. After becoming a father, protecting our planet and combating climate change has become a priority to me. I want to do everything in my power so that my child will grow up in a clean environment like I did. This is a call to all my fans to do their share.”

This project is just another chapter of Markkanen’s #DontChoke campaign with Neste, which is a call to action for individuals to do their share in battling climate change where each action, no matter how small, is important.

Neste’s Marketing Director, Sirpa Tuomi, explains further, “As the latest IPCC report shows, the time to act is now. Our collaboration is set out to challenge people to make responsible choices every day by transforming their mindset. #DontChoke communicates that we shouldn’t choke in front of big challenges, whether they face us on the court, or off it. Instead, we have to be courageous and goal-oriented to make better, sustainable choices.”

As 2018 is set to be the hottest year ever recorded, more and more people are calling for urgent action to tackle climate change.


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