Published September 7, 2005 12:00 AM

2006 FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament to be Climate Neutral

BERLIN — The 2006 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee has partnered with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to work toward a more eco-friendly, climate-neutral tournament. Effective immediately, UNEP will provide technical and communications support to the OC aimed at seamlessly integrating environmental considerations and projects with preparations for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and the staging of the tournament itself.

"This is the first time that the world's leading sports event -- the FIFA World Cup -- has incorporated environmental considerations in the preparation and staging of its games," UNEP executive director Klaus Töpfer commented. "There is an increasing realization by organizers of major sports events that they must seriously integrate the impact of their events on the environment."

The organizations will host joint workshops and events to promote the Green Goal initiative, which incorporates measurable environmental targets in four key areas: water, refuse, energy, and mobility. In addition, Klaus Töpfer will assume a personal role as the first Green Goal Ambassador, lending weight to the eco-friendly profile of the tournament and opening up a range of contacts with environmental institutes around the world.

According to its organizers, the 2006 FIFA World Cup is well on its way to becoming the first-ever climate-neutral FIFA World Cup finals. The German Football Association (DFB) is to invest €500,000 in a comprehensive aid program in Tamil Nadu, a region of India seriously affected by the tsunami disaster. A central component of the program compensates for the first third of an incremental 100,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions forecast to be generated in Germany by increased traffic volumes at the finals.

"The program represents a major contribution to the most demanding target set by Green Goal, specifically to host the first climate-neutral finals in the history of the event. We hope our initial commitment inspires new partners to join in with similar activities, and share the responsibility of ensuring that the 2006 FIFA World Cup leaves behind a lasting legacy," said OC senior vice-president Horst R. Schmidt.


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