Of all the world’s largest organized sports, there is one that is most affected by climate change induced by global warming. Cricket, the old British sport that has been exported to India, Australia and the Caribbean Islands will be most hard hit by the ravages of climate change such as flooding and heat waves, recent reports suggest. Not even the best cricket tips can save the sport that is worried about its future, highlights the Climate Coalition.
The Sustainability Report started reporting on the news a few years ago in 2018, that from May to July was the UK’s hottest three-month period ever on record. And in the same period the next year, in 2019, when England and Wales were hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup, there was epic rain.
In India it was worse: “The worst floods for a century in the southern Indian state of Kerala killed 361 and affected an estimated five million more, while a heatwave in Karachi killed 65. And while the Caribbean was spared the worst of the Atlantic hurricane season after multiple disasters in 2017, the pressure in that region grows year by year,” noted the news outlet.
It’s an interesting play: normally we talk about climate change and flood risk to homes or agriculture and our food supply. But since Covid-19 hit, we can also now tangibly value how so much leisure and culture plays a large role in our lives. Without sports as we know it, and the movie industry, and dining out, life is not the same.
For those part of the industry, The Game Changer report (links to PDF) by the Climate Coalition explores this often discussed issue: how climate affects sports and games. Not only in detail about what is happening already, but it explores what will happen in the future and how sports leagues and clubs can invest in climate-proofing their sports.
Athletes and team players easily influence the next generation from the way they talk to the shoes they wear. The report highlights a few take-home ideas that sports teams can take as action items on themselves.
How sports clubs can impact climate change
- Sports clubs and their governing bodies and sponsors all need to reduce carbon emissions and other environmental impacts. If you’ve seen the latest Ted Lasso series on AppleTV, there was an interesting event where the team decided to cut its sponsorship from Dubai Air, a made-up airline, that was investing in exploiting oil fields in Nigeria. One of the team members from Nigeria led the protest.
- In the real world, The British Association of Sustainable Sport (BASIS) can provide guidance to help teams along with sponsors and fans lead the voice in sustainable practices on the field, court, slope and court.
- Governments across the world need to play their part and encourage more public transportation to live sports venues. They also have to help people achieve homes that are more climate resilient and less energy intensive.
- Be part of the Paris Climate Agreement means taking actions to stop the climate rising by another 1.5 degrees centigrade. If you come from an affluent country, help those from poorer nations access the tools and infrastructure they need to meet climate goals set globally.