Sustainability starts at home Of all the pitch sports, cricket will be most affected by climate change

calculation used to define the second innings target in a match with significant disruption). The rate of rain-affected matches has more than doubled since 2011; five per cent of matches during that time have been abandoned completely. The recreational game is most exposed, with

fixture disruption and damage to facilities across the country. “Wet weather has caused a significant loss of

fixtures every year in the last five at recreational level and significant flooding in six of the last 10 years. In season, the worst year was 2007, with flooding in the Midlands and the Thames Valley. Out of season the worst was 2015/16, when Storms Desmond and Eva badly affected more than 50 community clubs,” says Musson. Supporting clubs to get back on their feet

and restore their facilities cost the ECB £1m in emergency grants during 2016 and £1.6m in 2017. This trend has forced the governing body to set aside £2.5m a year for small grants to help recreational clubs keep the game on. The ECB is also conducting research to identify flood risk, and producing guidance for clubs on

climate-related risks. The ultimate risk to the game, however, is

that increasingly disrupted cricket will lead people to eventually give up and do something else. Indeed, nearly 40,000 fewer people played cricket in 2015/6 than in 2005/6, a fall of almost a fifth. Dan Cherry, director of operations at

Glamorgan Cricket Club, says the weather is definitely a factor in participation decline: “The impact is becoming more obvious. If fewer people play the game, the whole sport will suffer.” In recent years, the club has been seriously

affected by high levels of rainfall and extreme weather. Since 2000, it has lost more than 1,300 hours of cricket – equivalent to 217 days or at least 20,000 overs. Across the whole County Championship, at least 175 days - around 16,000 overs - have been lost in five of the last 10 years. “Our experience is becoming the norm for

almost every club and it’s difficult even for first- class counties to be commercially viable with such an impact. It’s been worst in recent years – during the 2017 season five of our seven T20 Blast fixtures were badly affected by rain, with three being totally abandoned. T20 Blast is a great way to get new people through the gates and into cricket, but they won’t come back if this keeps happening, and it’s damaged the club to the tune of £1m.”

what’s next? From cancelled football matches, flooded cricket grounds and golf courses crumbling into the sea: climate change is affecting sports across the country. These impacts are in line with climate trends that will continue if we don’t act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Following a full inspection and analysis of its operations, Glamorgan Cricket Club has taken measures to improve sustainability across suppliers and caterers, electricity and gas use, water and waste management, and away-day travel.

Since 2013, Glamorgan has achieved a 10- 15 per cent reduction in electricity use and a similar reduction in gas use and emissions related to away-day travel. Measures ranging from new appliances and fittings to staff training have helped deliver an overall reduction of 137 tonnes of CO2 in the first two years of their sustainability programme, all achieved while spending has remained stable and revenues have increased.

But there is hope. This report shows that sport is starting to play a part in tackling climate change by cutting emissions. In the sporting spirit of aiming to win, there are actions we can take to avoid the worst effects of climate change on sport, and on the whole of society: • Internationally, companies, governments, financial institutions and the sporting industry must act to reduce emissions in line with the ambition of the Paris Agreement, to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C.

• Nationally, governments across the UK must introduce policies to ensure we meet or exceed the targets set out in the Climate Change Act.

• Sports bodies should follow the lead of the clubs showcased in the Game Changer report, and work to reduce their own carbon emissions and other environmental impacts.

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