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Brazil Scores a Green Goal for the Football World Cup

Brasilia – Brazil. Brazil announced a green initiative of pollution-cutting measures aimed at making the 2014 football World Cup the most environmentally friendly ever. “We want to score green goals”, announced environment minister Izabella Teixeira in the nations capital on Tuesday.

Traditionally, the World Cup has one of the planet’s largest carbon footprints of any tournament. Building huge new stadia and resultant infrastructure to accommodate the football-mad hordes prior to the event already makes up for over of the CO2 gases of the actual cup itself, which itself includes flying in thousands of fans (and the teams), then housing them in hotels, transport and the actual carbon cost of hosting of the actual games.

About 600 000 foreigners and 3.1 million Brazilian tourists are expected to descend on the 12 host cities.

Already, according to Teixeira, this year’s World Cup, which runs from 12 June to 13 July, is expected to add 59 000 tons of carbon to the atmosphere. This excludes indirect emissions linked to the tournament. When these are included, the total rises to 1.4 million tons, just under half the footprint attributed to the London Olympics in 2012.

In an effort to curb the tonnage of greenhouse gases, Brazil’s government has launched a program to by asking companies to give carbon credits in exchange for the right to advertise themselves as official “green seal” World Cup sponsors. The government has already offset 115 000 tons of emissions through such donations of carbon credits, a tradable permit to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases.

“The Cup will open having offset 100% of its direct emissions”, said Teixeira, who
together with the United Nations Environment Program, also launched a project called “green passport” aimed at encouraging football fans to practice environmentally sustainable tourism.
Not only are the matches going to be inundated but many fans will explore the country before, between and after the matches. Texeira says the project will offer environmentally friendly travel itineraries from each host city, complete with a cell phone app. Other initiatives aim to train garbage collectors on recycling and set up stalls to sell locally produced organic food.

The World Cup is the first where all host stadiums will have LEED certification, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Deign, a sustainability seal of approval.

Celebrities have also been drafted into the program. Brazil’s supermodel Gisele Bundchen is the green strategy’s official spokesperson.

Adam Cruise

Adam Cruise is a published author and writer specialising in Africa, Europe and it’s environment. He travels extensively throughout the two continents commenting, documenting and highlighting many of the environmental concerns that face the regions. He is a well-known travel, animal ethic and environmental writer having his articles published in a variety of magazines and newspapers. The rich and varied cultural and historical aspects of both continents have also fascinated Cruise and are evident in much of his writings.

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