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Iceland 'wins' Euro 2016

Football 3x2

Iceland has been named the country with the lowest “carbon bootprint” of Euro 2016, according to new analysis carried out by the Carbon Trust.

The Carbon Trust has calculated the “carbon bootprint” of individual fans watching a game of football at home in each of the 24 nations competing in the tournament.

It said that the results of the analysis found that watching on an LED smart TV through digital terrestrial television was the lowest carbon option for watching a match. If a set top box was required to view the match, it could increase the carbon footprint by more than 50%, while watching through a cable connection could produce 10 times more emissions.

The body, which is dedicated to a low carbon economy, said that Iceland’s population is so small that it would be unable to simultaneously fill the six largest stadia being used in the tournament. The analysis revealed that Iceland was the winner thanks to providing almost all of its electricity using hydropower and geothermal energy.

Carbon Trust Euros football wallchart

Carbon Trust Euros football wallchart


In ranking the nations competing in Euro 2016, Iceland topped the table with some of the lowest carbon electricity in the world, but other nations also performed particularly well. These countries include Albania, Sweden, Switzerland and France.

Albania produces almost all of its electricity from hydroelectric power stations, said the Carbon Trust. Both Sweden and Switzerland provide the majority of their grid electricity from a mixture of both hydropower and nuclear power.

The body said that the Euro 2016 host – France – also ranked well, generating around three quarters of its electricity from nuclear reactors. It said that the country’s low carbon electricity also provided emission reductions from neighbouring countries, including the UK, as France was also a major exporter of clean electricity.

According to the analysis, the worst performance came from one of the co-hosts of Euro 2012 – Poland – due to the fact that the country generates the vast majority of its electricity supply from coal.

“To address the challenge of climate change we are going to need to provide a lot more low carbon electricity and transition away from the use of fossil fuels,” said Carbon Trust managing director of business advice Hugh Jones. “Our analysis highlights that some countries have already achieved a lot, in part thanks to abundant renewable energy resources.

“But many European countries are currently going through ambitious low carbon energy transitions that are setting an example for the rest of the world. For example, Portugal recently went four days without using fossil fuels to provide electricity. And over the past month more electricity in the UK was provided by solar panels than by coal power plants.

“At the same time as producing more clean electricity, it is also important to help people to use energy more efficiently. In any country an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint while watching Euro 2016 is to come together locally and share a screen with family, friends and neighbours. This comes with the added benefit of creating a far better atmosphere for cheering on your team.”

How do the Euro 2016 countries rank on low carbon electricity?

  1. Iceland
  2. Albania
  3. Sweden
  4. Switzerland
  5. France
  6. Belgium
  7. Slovak Republic
  8. Austria
  9. Portugal
  10. Spain
  11. Hungary
  12. Croatia
  13. Italy
  14. Republic of Ireland
  15. Northern Ireland
  16. Germany
  17. England
  18. Wales
  19. Russia
  20. Ukraine
  21. Turkey
  22. Romania
  23. Czech Republic
  24. Poland

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