Quarter of English League Grounds at Risk of Flooding Every Season in Next Three Decades

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'.

Forest Green Rovers are famous for their eco-friendly innovations

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.

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.

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.

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Source : 90min