World Cup goes carbon neutral

The World Cup is 'carbon neutral' for the first time this year, despite the dirty energy used and air miles clocked up by both fans and players, thanks to FIFA's use of carbon offset schemes.

By funding a green energy project in Africa and buying up carbon credits to compensate for emissions from German coal-burning power stations, vehicles and airplanes generated by the event, organisers hope to erase its impact on the earth’s climate.

FIFA is funding a project in South Africa that will see coal-fired boilers at Letaba Citrus Farm, South Africa, replaced by biomass boilers fuelled by woodchips from a nearby sawmill. WSP BioTherm, a carbon offsetting company, assisted it in the project.

Charles Liebenberg of WSP BioTherm said: “We are delighted that this project can contribute to offset the emissions from a major international event such as the 2006 World Cup.

“The project has many sustainable development benefits and will simultaneously minimise waste, prevent greenhouse gas pollution, create employment opportunities and lead to foreign investment and technology transfer into South Africa.

“It would also create an important emission responsibility precedent for the 2010 World Cup, which will be hosted by South Africa.”

“The project utilises well-proven technology to reduce coal consumption and also to avoid methane gas produced by stockpiling sawdust and will prevent at least 220,000 tonnes of GHG emissions over its ten-year lifetime. Commissioning of the new biomass fuel boilers is planned for August 2007.”

Goska Romanowicz

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