Birmingham 2022 pledges to plant forest to go carbon neutral

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(Reuters) - Birmingham Commonwealth Games organisers have pledged to plant 2,022 acres of forest around the English city as part of a commitment to make the 2022 event carbon neutral.

They said in a statement on Monday, marking 500 days to the Games, that 72 tennis court-sized 'urban forests' will also be planted to match the number of nations and territories competing.

"Birmingham 2022’s plan to stage the first ever carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games is an historic moment for Commonwealth Sport," said Commonwealth Games Federation president Louise Martin.

"This will set a long-term blueprint for future Commonwealth Games that will make our event a global leader when it comes to staging sustainable, environmentally-sound sporting competition."

Water company Severn Trent will help offset the carbon generated by the Games by planting trees as part of a new partnership.

The Games will be the most expensive sports event staged in Britain since the London 2012 Olympics.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)