Tottenham Hotspur has announced plans for the world’s first net zero carbon professional football fixture in a move backed by the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference.

The Premier League club has partnered with media group Sky to progress plans for the home fixture against Chelsea on September 19, which has been branded #GameZero.

In a statement, the club said all direct emissions will be reduced as much as possible, with the remainder offset through natural projects that remove emissions from the atmosphere.

The club, COP26 partner Sky and the UK Government want the game to raise awareness of the threat of climate change and encourage football fans to make changes that will help reduce their carbon footprint.

Tottenham said the partners will work to minimise emissions from matchday activity such as energy used to power the game, travel to and from the stadium for both fans and clubs, and dietary choices at the stadium.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said: “We are delighted to be the chosen partner of Sky on this ground-breaking initiative that will demonstrate the role our game can play in addressing the urgent issue of climate change.

“As the Premier League’s greenest club, Tottenham Hotspur is passionate about our planet – we look forward to showcasing our wide range of sustainable measures that are already in place and encouraging our fans to take simple actions that can make a huge difference.”

Fans will be encouraged to use public transport of bicycles, and choose plant-based food options in the stadium. The club is also progressing a ‘zero to landfill’ waste management programme, with clear recycling instructions for fans on its bins, as well as a reusable beer cup scheme.

The Tottenham squad will travel to the match by coach to reduce the number of car movements, and Chelsea will also be asking all their staff to travel across London sustainably. Both sets of players will head to the stadium on a coach that is running on biofuel, which is a form of renewable diesel produced from food waste products and reduces carbon emissions significantly.

For those emissions which remain, Sky is working with Natural Capital Partners to restore natural carbon sinks which remove emissions from the atmosphere, by supporting a community reforestation in East Africa, and creating new UK native woodlands to support the UK’s net zero objectives. The Club and Sky will also plant trees locally to the stadium later this year.

Alok Sharma, COP26 president-designate, said: “Climate change affects every aspect of our lives, including the sports that we love to watch and play. We can all take steps to help protect the planet for future generations, including in major sporting events. That is why I am delighted COP26 is working with Sky, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and the Premier League to show how football is going One Step Greener by hosting the world’s first major net zero football match.”

Image: Tottenham Hotspur