A study has found a quarter of English league football grounds will be at risk of flooding every season in the next three decades due to the climate crisis.
The report from the Rapid Transition Alliance, which details the case for 'rapid change' in global sport, states that of the 92 league sides in England's top four leagues, 23 can expect partial or total annual flooding by 2050.
The four at risk from the current iteration of the Premier League are Southampton’s St Mary's, Norwich’s Carrow Road, Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and West Ham’s London Stadium. In the Championship there are seven grounds including the KCOM Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium, both of which will be 'entirely under water by 2050'.
It also details how international competitions have already been affected by climate change. 2019's Rugby World Cup was hit by a typhoon and this year's Australian Open was affected by smoke from the region's bush fires.
Global carbon emissions have dropped due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic - though they are likely to resume rising exponentially unless permanently change is made - and there have been calls for global sport bodies to do more to combat climate change.
The report reveals that out of hundreds of governing bodies, only five - including World Athletics, Formula 1 and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which stages Wimbledon - have made pledges to be carbon neutral by 2030.
A new report from @Davidsgoldblatt explores the links between global sport and the climate emergency and supports the case for rapid transition.— Rapid Transition Alliance (@RapidTransition) June 21, 2020
Read more: https://t.co/rCQdJc2Xep@adamvaughan_uk @LewisPugh @UNFCCC pic.twitter.com/Z8BuxJJpKZ
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar aims to carbon neutral, though David Goldblatt, the report's author, adds 'quite how this accounts for the hydrocarbon soaked wealth that has made the show possible is unspoken'.
Spectator attendance remains one of the biggest challenges when dealing with carbon emissions, especially for international events, as it drives a large amount of air traffic.
League Two's Forest Green Rovers were the first-ever UN-certified carbon zero football club in the world, having made a number of changes after green energy businessman Dale Vince became club chairman. Players were banned from eating red meat and placed on vegan diets, with no meat available for fans at games.
For every @Arsenal game we win this season I will plant 3,000 trees to help combat the carbon emissions issues we have. Follow the link to learn more on how you can get involved by planting a tree with me @onetreeplanted ?https://t.co/mQSqqGc7R5 pic.twitter.com/d0J9OGa1jO— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) June 17, 2020
The Nailsworth side also installed extensive rainwater recycling, electric vehicle charging points and a solar powered lawn mover. There are also plans to build a wooden stadium, which would also be the first carbon zero ground ever. La Liga team Real Betis have also announced plans to go carbon neutral.
More broadly, Hector Bellerin recently revealed he would plant 3,000 trees for each game Arsenal win this season, and his former teammate Mathieu Flamini founded GF Biochemicals, the first company ever able to mass-produce levulinic acid.