What's the article about?
- It talks about two areas: the impact (large carbon footprint) of the IPL as a megasport and social event on climate change, and the use of this platform to accelerate efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.
- GS3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment;
- The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) started recently. It has become more than just a cricket tournament. IPL is now a cultural phenomenon and an economic event.
- It has contributed significantly to India’s economy through sports tourism, employment generation, and infrastructure development.
- Along with these positive things, the IPL also has a significant environmental footprint.
- India has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2070, and has also committed to reducing the emissions Intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030.
- Given this context, an examination of the environmental impact of India’s biggest summer festival and an exploration of ways to make it more sustainable are ideal.
- Huge carbon footprint of the IPL:
- Specifically, for the IPL, studies estimate that a single match produces emissions in the range of 10,000 tCO2e to 14,000 tCO2e (or tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent).
- Over a season, this figure can reach up to 750k tCO2e to 900k tCO2e. To contextualise these emissions, it would take tropical forests the size of Singapore over a whole year to absorb these emissions.
- Sources of emissions:
- The emissions generated by sports venues (Stadiums and facilities) only account for about 5% of the total, whereas digital viewership (TVs and other screen devices) contributes to more than three-fourths to the total emissions footprint.
- In addition, data centres are the second most significant contributor to emissions, something that might often go unnoticed. Spectator travel, luxury accommodation, and backup generators round up the list of top five emitters.
- Steps taken so far:
- In 2018, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed an agreement to implement the concept of ‘zero waste’ or ‘green protocol’ to reduce wastage from cricket stadiums. This is a step in the right direction.
- Large-scale sporting events such as the IPL have a complex and multifaceted impact on the environment, and the lack of reliable data on carbon emissions hinders the ability to plan and execute effective policies.
- Adopting climate tech and leveraging existing tech advancements are crucial in quickly and accurately measuring emissions from various sources. This data can be used to set targets, track progress, and select cost-effective alternatives.
- A transition to renewable energy sources for the data centres and data streaming infrastructure can further reduce the IPL’s carbon emissions by over 10%.
- Further, the incentivisation and use of public transport to and from stadiums can help reduce spectator travel emissions by as much as 85%.
Cricket and climate change:
- The IPL has a unique opportunity to take a lead role in promoting climate action by prioritising sustainability.
- The organisation’s broad social platform can influence attitudes towards sustainability and reach out to people from all backgrounds and areas.
- By promoting education and awareness around environmental issues, the IPL can encourage a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.