Europa Conference League will produce 68% more tonnes of CO2 than Champions League

The Europa Conference League will produce around 183 tonnes of CO2 in the group stages alone, new research has revealed.

The new third tier of UEFA’s European pyramid will produce 68% more CO2 than the Champions League due to the extra long-haul flights, causing further damage to the environment.

With climate change a burning topic around the world, Eco-Friendly Leagues by has examined the damage done to the environment by the often-criticised Europa Conference League and how much extra CO2 is being released into the world by previously unneeded flights.

By mapping out every trip in the group stage of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League and calculating the carbon footprint of each trip (for a flight to the nearest available airport) using data from, Eco-Friendly Leagues can show the average carbon footprint of each team in each competition as well as the overall figures.

The Champions League group stages will see around 135,000 kilometres travelled by teams in away matches – an average of 4,211km per team – which equates to around 109t CO2, at an average of 3.42t CO2 per team, and 36.43t CO2 across Europe per matchday.

The Europa Conference League on the other hand will see far greater distances travelled due to the nature of the competition and some of the countries involved in it.

There will be over 173,000km covered at an average of 5,400 per team, but remarkably this means an overall carbon footprint of 183t CO2 at an average of 5.73t CO2 per team – with the 183t CO2 figure a massive 68% rise on Champions League figures.

To put this into perspective, the average annual amount of CO2 generated by a single person in the EU is currently 8.4t CO2, and to stop climate change, the maximum amount of CO2 that can be generated by a single person stands at just 0.6t CO2.

This means that combined Europa Conference League teams are producing around 727% of the recommended annual CO2 per matchday alone (61t CO2).

This is despite the Europa Conference League facing criticism for its inception, an apparent lack of interest in the concept, and UEFA’s ‘Cleaner Air, Better Game’ campaign.

Basel are the team that will produce the highest CO2 footprint, with 11.30t in the group stages of the ECL due to trips to Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Cyprus and a total distance of 11,226km – producing on average 3.77t CO2 per away game.

By contrast, Atletico Madrid will produce the least across three competitions with 1.76t CO2 despite covering 3,049km and more than the likes of PSG, Club Brugge and Manchester City.

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