Tottenham to play world’s first major ‘net zero’ carbon football game against Chelsea

·2-min read
Tottenham’s upcoming Premier League clash with Chelsea will be carbon-neutral, organisers say (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Tottenham’s upcoming Premier League clash with Chelsea will be carbon-neutral, organisers say (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are gearing up to play in what is being touted as the world’s first major “net zero” football match.

Carbon emissions from the London rivals’ Premier League clash on 19 September will either be reduced or offset, according to Sky Sports, which has partnered with Spurs on the initiative.

Hundreds of people involved in the match – from producers to Tottenham’s stadium chefs – are said to be working to minimise emissions from matchday activity, such as the energy used to power the game, travel to and from the stadium for fans and clubs, and dietary choices at the game.

The match, which organisers have dubbed “Game Zero”, comes six weeks before world leaders descend upon Glasgow for the the UN’s Cop26 climate summit, and will form part of a government campaign aiming to showcase what UK individuals and organisations are doing to protect the climate.

“Climate change affects every aspect of our lives, including the sports that we love to watch and play,” said the government’s Cop26 president, Alok Sharma.

“We can all take steps to help protect the planet for future generations, including in major sporting events.”

Spurs’ Premier League match against Manchester City on 15 August will serve as a baseline from which to reduce emissions, with carbon measurement specialists at the consultancy RSK using direct data from the opening fixture, including a fan survey, to measure the fans’ and squads’ journeys, energy and waste at the stadium and the commutes of matchday employees.

The club said it will encourage fans attending the Chelsea match to take sustainable actions on the day, including using public transport, cycling to the match, choosing a plant-based food option, and recycling their waste.

The squads will travel to the match by a coach run on biofuel to reduce the number of car movements, and as the away team, Chelsea will also be asking all their staff to travel across London sustainably.

For those emissions which remain, Sky said it is working with Natural Capital Partners to restore natural carbon sinks which remove emissions from the atmosphere, by supporting a community reforestation in East Africa, and creating new UK native woodlands. Spurs and Sky will also plant trees locally to the stadium later this year.

Tottenham Hotspur’s chairman Daniel Levy added that the initiative “will demonstrate the role our game can play in addressing the urgent issue of climate change”.

“As the Premier League's greenest club, Tottenham Hotspur is passionate about our planet – we look forward to showcasing our wide range of sustainable measures that are already in place and encouraging our fans to take simple actions that can make a huge difference,” Mr Levy said.

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