Their blood is green

2010-06-28 14:13

Eleven football teams – among them Africa’s best-performing contestant – have made an effort to reduce their carbon footprint during the World Cup.

Ghana, Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Uruguay, Italy, Switzerland, Chile, England, the Republic of Korea and Serbia have been calculating their emissions.

Commented Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o: “I realise how important it is to act now, to address the environmental and climate change issues that we’re seeing around the world.”

The initiative was started in December last year at the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen. Delegations from all countries competing in the World Cup were invited.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) calculated the footprint of participating teams, which came to about 6 050 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which the teams agreed to offset.

The calculation included transport to and from South Africa, and accommodation and travelling around the country during the matches.

Puma sportswear has funded carbon offsetting for Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Uruguay, Italy and Switzerland.

The teams’ contribution is one of three projects to make the World Cup green, launched shortly before kickoff by the Global Environment Faculty (GEF), the UNEP and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

One project aims to make public street lights, traffic lights and billboards around stadiums of six of the host cities more environmentally friendly. This project is funded by $1 million from GEF.

Another is the Green Passport project, an awareness campaign to encourage visitors to make responsible travel choices while visiting South Africa for the World Cup.

A 32-page booklet, the “passport”, gives visitors greening tips and tips for responsible tourism. It will be distributed to 100 000 World Cup fans.

The DEA, with the Department of Energy, Department of Tourism, Central Energy Fund, Eskom and the Local Organising Committee have also launched five carbon offset projects. 

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