Dale Vince explains how Premier League could improve future carbon neutral matches


Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince said the Premier League could improve future carbon neutral matches during an appearance on Athleticism Sports business podcast.

Tottenham Hotspur faced Chelsea on September 19 this season in a game the Premier League has billed as the “first net zero carbon game in elite football”. Organizers aimed to minimize emissions by powering the stadium with renewable energy, ensuring teams use carbon-neutral modes of transport and providing fans with eco-friendly food options.

Under Vince’s ownership, Forest Green Rovers became the world’s first vegan and carbon neutral professional sports team.

Talk to Athleticism Business of Sport podcast, Vince said: “I was really glad they did because it puts a mark on having the Premier League’s first zero carbon game. Hopefully that will get other clubs to say ‘We’re going to go this route’ because they know the fans want to see it.

“The game itself was fine. I think they traveled on biodiesel buses instead of diesel buses which is a milestone, but I mean it’s not a milestone. They could have used electric buses, there are some nearby and I would have told them if I had known they were preparing for the game.

“We use an electric bus from London in a few games to get to one of our away games. And we’ll probably be the first team in the world to do it on an electric bus. They could have done it, but they didn’t know it, I’m sure it’s logistically fair.

“Because there is no cost bar at Premier League level, all the things we have done are extremely affordable. They should get going and do it in my opinion, and have a lot more games truly zero carbon.

“I didn’t want to lose the game they had because I was glad they did. But they should go further.”

Vince was speaking on the same day the Premier League and FIFA announced their adherence to the United Nations Climate Action Framework for Sport.

FIFA also revealed that it has launched a climate strategy to achieve UN goals.

The UN framework calls on signatories to reduce their emissions by 50% by 2030 and become net-zero by 2040. This aims to ensure compliance with the 2015 Paris Agreement target of keep global warming levels below 1.5 ° C by the end of the century.

Premier League Managing Director Richard Masters announced: “By joining the United Nations Climate Action Framework for Sport, the Premier League demonstrates its commitment to a more sustainable future.

“Like all sports, football has the power to unite people and we hope that through our work and our public commitment to the climate change goals, we will also encourage football fans around the world to think about the how they can reduce their own carbon footprint. “

On his own climate strategy, Isha Johansen, FIFA Council member, said: “Football also has the power to radically change mindsets about climate change and mainstream climate action. We have a large and attentive audience and it is our duty to amplify these key messages.

“We will help educate fans about climate change and encourage them to play their part in protecting the planet and the beautiful game. We have a moral and urgent duty to accelerate our action. Our commitment to protect our climate remains unwavering.

You can listen to the podcast here.

(Photo: GEOFF CADDICK / AFP via Getty Images)

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