COP26

Parallels between football’s ESL and climate crisis

A post about football might not be the most obvious fit for an environmental blog. But bear with, there are parallels to be drawn. This week, we have had Earth Day, an annual event used by new United States President Joe Biden to try to set the climate agenda he promised in his election campaign.

But in football we also had “What on earth?!” day, when six clubs from the Premier League announced their involvement in a European Super League (ESL) project. A closed door one, just for the elite.

It sparked protests from fans. Socially distanced? Perhaps. But respectful nonetheless. No riot police needed. These were non violent, in-person protests demonstrating outrage at the idea. A notion fostered by money-focused owners without even consultation of their football managers or teams, perhaps not wholly even their boards of directors. Although a report today suggests the media teams were briefed a week ago.

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A solar panel farm

Put a green thorn in fossil site planning laws

“I take your point,” Alok Sharma replied, when asked if the approval of a new coal mine was “an embarrassment” ahead of the UK hosting the COP26 Climate Summit.

The questions to Mr Sharma, President of the UK-hosted COP26 in Glasgow in November, came from the Commons business select committee.

Even Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, told the committee there was a “slight tension” between Cumbria County Council approving the mine and national efforts to clean up – or green up – the economy.

Ministers could have reversed the decision by “calling in” the plans. But they declined to do so, saying that the coal was required for creating the heat to make steel. Otherwise coal would have to be imported, the applicant and council agreed. This would increase carbon emissions, given the travel to reach the UK.

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