World Cup Football Kicks Off Green Goal Initiative
BERLIN, Germany, - The 2006 World Cup football, or soccer, tournament in Germany will be the greenest ever with a new eco-friendly Green Goal initiative now in place. Green Goal incorporates measurable environmental targets in four key areas - water, refuse, energy and mobility. The headline target is the organization of a climate neutral 2006 World Cup.
To kick off the Green Goal initiative, an agreement was signed Tuesday between the German government, the organizers of the 2006 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The agreement was signed in Berlin by the present German Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, World Cup Organizing Committee Senior Vice President Horst Schmidt, and UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer, a former German environment minister.
Toepfer said, "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. There is an increasing realization by organizers of major sports events that they must seriously integrate the impact of their events on the environment."
UNEP will provide technical and communications support to the World Cup Organizing Committee as it plans to integrate environmental considerations and projects with preparations and staging of the tournament. The final competition will be held from June 9 to July 9, 2006.
Twelve German cities will host matches during finals month, with the opening match in Munich and the final match in Berlin.
Public service announcements are planned for broadcast on local, national and international television stations to stimulate environmental action and provide information on the Green Goal project. Environmental messages will appear on public transport and billboards in the hosting cities, as well as on scoreboards during the matches.
A two day conference on Sport Events and Sustainable Development will be organized in Munich Stadium in early 2006. During the FIFA 2006 World Cup there will be a special information day dedicated to the Green Goal, with press conferences and other events.
UNEP and the Organizing Committee plan to develop a brochure on the Green Goal initiative, as well as individual brochures for media and commentators outlining the environmental merits and achievements of each of the hosting stadia and cities in Germany.
Toepfer will assume a high-profile personal role as the first Green Goal Ambassador, lending weight to the eco-friendly profile of the tournament and opening up contacts with environmental institutes around the world.
"The Green Goal initiative is one of the most comprehensive programs seeking to reduce the environmental impact of sport," said Toepfer, and I would like to congratulate the 2006 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee for this pioneering initiative, and for its commitment to the environment."
The 2006 FIFA World Cup is planning to become the first ever climate neutral FIFA World Cup finals. The German Football Association is to invest €500,000 in a comprehensive aid program in Tamil Nadu, a region of India severely affected by the tsunami disaster.
A central component of the program offsets the first third of 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," said Horst Schmidt on behalf of the Organizing Committee (OC).
The Family Clean Energy Packages aid project for Tamil Nadu aims to provide eco-friendly, safe and guaranteed energy supplies to villages hit by the December 2004 tsunami, simultaneously protecting the local and global climate, and improving the villagers' quality of life.
In Tamil Nadu, biogas generation facilities will be constructed by local companies using funds provided by the German Football Association. The facilities convert cow dung into biogas, conveyed by a short length of piping to a cooking plate within a home. Eco-friendly biogas thus replaces kerosene and wood, protecting local forests that might otherwise be cut for firewood, and reducing damage to the global climate.
"We were determined to meet two targets: contributing to environmental protection, but also alleviating the devastating effect of the tsunami on ordinary people. We are genuinely enthusiastic about this project as it meets both our targets at a fundamental level," Schmidt explained.
The sparing of conventional fuels - kerosene and wood - combined with the positive social effects of the project, meets the validation criteria demanded by the Clean Development Mechanism as defined by the Kyoto Protocol, and by the Gold Standards, a set of stringent quality standards established by worldwide environmental agencies for emissions reduction projects.
Schmidt said, "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."