How does climate change affect Scottish sports?

Closed golf courses. Canceled football and rugby matches. The stadiums were defeated by the sea. There are no regular winter sports.

Climate change in Scotland is just a small part of the potential impact on climate change. Continuing global warming will affect every aspect of our lives, and sports are no different.

As world leaders seek solutions at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow this week, BBC Scotland Sport explores the country’s impact on climate change.

How does sports hurt?

It’s very simple, really. If carbon emissions continue at the same rate, global warming will increase, leading to more severe weather in Scotland.

This threatens all outdoor sports, whether it is canceled due to flooded fields or during storms, heat and floods during the safety of athletes and spectators.

And while scientists predict that these extreme weather events will worsen, the effects of climate change are already being felt.

Scotland’s world-famous golf course is threatened by climate change and is expected to increase.

Montzez Golf Club – the world’s fifth-largest course – lost three meters at sea last year alone and was forced to relocate regularly due to the storm.

“Over the next few years, we’re talking about an increase in the sea level by about 40 cm,” said John Adams, of the 459-year-old course.

“We have weak spots in the dunes so if we get a big storm we get in trouble. The calculation has been done, and this is based on normal conditions.

“If we have a 50-year hurricane, it will be difficult not only for the golf course but also for Montros.”

Football clubs like Arbrot – whose Gfield field is the closest to the sea in England – are also affected by rising sea levels.

Meanwhile, ice sports are also in danger of extinction. A report by Highland and Islands Enterprise predicts that snowfall on Mount Caringhorm, one of Scotland’s major winter resorts, will be reduced over the next 20 years.

This is a logical conclusion, that short winters are already affecting recreational areas, and artificial snow – in its often harmful process – is now a common occurrence.

What is the impact of sports on climate change?

Sport is not in the bubble. Therefore, climate change has not only had a profound effect on sports but also on climate.

To international events and construction facilities, sport leaves its own carbon footprint in many ways, but the main thing is that we come to watch sports.

“After all, 70% of carbon footprints go to those events at large professional sports venues, which are locked in high-powered transportation systems,” said David Goldblat, author and chairman of Football Future. It promotes sustainability in football in the UK.

“Consider the size of the global sports industry. It is between $ 500bn and $ 700bn a year, which accounts for about 0.6 to 0.8% of GDP – that is. [similar to] Poland or Spain, so it is not an unthinkable contribution. “

Is sports trying to help?

A lot of good work is being done by Scottish governing bodies and clubs to make sports sustainable in Scotland.

The R&A, which is responsible for golfing outside the United States and Mexico, has invested in sustainability and launched the ‘Golf Course 2030’ project. It aims to invest in research to educate on the effects of climate change on the sport and to come up with some solutions.

A.D. They have banned single-use plastic bottles at the 2019 Open Championship and are working to make their main event carbon-neutral this year by using electric vehicles and donating spectators to tree planting projects.

“Discussion on climate change is important to us and we know it will focus more on how sports affect all sports,” said Philip Russell, R&A Assistant Director of Sustainability.

“We are driving, assisting and supporting research and innovation that can bring practical solutions to the table to make facilities more resilient and ultimately secure its future.”

Football is by far the most popular sport in Scotland and – according to experts – Hibernian and Inverness Caledonian Thistle are two of the leading clubs.

Following in the footsteps of Forest Green Rovers in England, Hibbs plans to become a ‘Scottish Green Club’ by extracting energy from renewable energy, recycling game day waste and more.

The only sports club in Scotland to be listed as one of the three most sustainable clubs in the UK by the United Nations Sport Climate Action Framework.

Whether it is promoting bees to their training center or collecting rainwater, the club believes it should promote more environmentally friendly practices.

“We’re trying to be a completely sustainable company,” said financial director Chris Gaunt. “This is by getting 100% green contracts, switching the lights to LEDs, installing solar panels on the roof, becoming more vegan in the stadium and taking our ships into fully electric cars.

We see ourselves as the guardians of this club and we want this club to exist for the next 100 years.

They use Invernous Biomas Boiler, electric cars have been installed, and they are working with the company to reduce traffic congestion in the Highland, as well as provide the local administration with a bike lane from their stadium.

“Football is a powerful tool for promoting good practice,” Scott Gardner, chief executive, told the BBC Scotland:

But is that enough?

Some clubs and organizations are doing their part, but in general there is a lack of coordination in Scotland to take action to curb the effects of climate change.

“If sport makes a difference, it must make a difference now,” Goldblatt explains.

“We need to see the federations move very quickly on these words and start the process of encouraging and loading the institutions below them to crack in the pyramid.”

At the Montzez Golf Club, Adams said he had been “in a state of relapse” for years if he had “no plans” to save.

“You can get 10, 15, 20 years out of it,” he says. But what opportunity did they have when they wanted to invest a few hundred thousand to develop the club’s new clubhouse? They have to make a decision.

“What we want are long-lasting sustainable things. We need to think about what we can do here off the coast to stop those waves from hitting the dunghill.”

“We were talking about a sand engine on the beach that would break the waves. That could be one solution, but there must be a desire to make it work.”

In football, the Scottish FA and SPFL have pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and water by 10% by the end of this year – and have upgraded Hampden Park with LED floodlights, vegan options and more.

Five years ago, a sustainability document was published encouraging SFA clubs to invest in renewable energy sources and other sustainable practices.

In partnership with Zero Waste Scotland to provide financial support and loans to clubs, the government-sponsored organization evaluated clubs’ carbon emissions and identified areas for improvement.

But acceptance is low because football only begins the process of becoming more sustainable.

Like many other industries and individuals, sports are still struggling with climate change and many are realizing the scope of the challenge.

However, it is also a unique place to lead and influence others in its vast sport.

Dr. Rachel Gavy, along with some sports organizations, will help them understand how to reduce their carbon footprint.

“If a sport can do something that affects the behavior of its members, understand something. This is a great thing,” she said.

“I see it as a great opportunity. That doesn’t cost a lot of money for the sport, but it does make use of the wonderful resources of the people you talk to and talk to every day.”

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