All attention was recently focused on the Copenhagen Climate Change summit and reducing carbon emissions and sustainability were on everyone’s mind. At present in South Africa, most of the focus is on the upcoming Soccer World Cup, but even here carbon emissions are not far from organisers’ thoughts. The FIFA 2010 World Cup Organising Committee, the Department of Environmental Affairs and host cities have launched a “greening 2010” framework, which is intended to offset the carbon emissions resulting from the global event.
The 2010 Soccer World Cup is expected to have a carbon footprint eight times bigger than the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and according to mg.co.za, that’s before all of the associated international travel has been factored in. The Norwegian Embassy funded a project to calculate carbon emissions for the event, which amounted to 2,753,250 tonnes of carbon – 67% of which will be from travel. According to the report, it will take between R40.6 million and R76.7 million in carbon offset programmes to balance the emissions.
It’s for this reason that the “greening 2010” framework was put in place. Important areas of focus include waste, energy, transport, water, biodiversity and responsible tourism, as well as job creation and public communication and education. As a start, solar panels will be used for cameras and solar lights on national roads. CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, Dr Danny Jordaan, said: “Our focus for this World Cup is that it must raise awareness and substantially change matters relating to the environment. If the World Cup can strengthen our ability to deal with this challenge, it will be a move forward.”
Durban aims to reduce its carbon emissions for the Soccer World Cup by implementing industrial offset programmes and reforestation projects. Cape Town reports that it has already begun 80% of its Green Goal projects and that the rest are in the final planning stages. Nationally, there is a drive to use waterless urinals at stadiums and to use grey water for pitch irrigation. In addition, all host cities intend to ramp up their public transport system and improve road conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
Even Eskom is getting on the environmentally-friendly Soccer World Cup bandwagon by considering implementing renewable energy solutions wherever possible to meet energy needs throughout the course of the event. Wind power from the Darling Wind Farm is intended to power Cape Town, while Pretoria would use biogas supplied by the Ekhuruleni Metro.
The 2010 Soccer World Cup will place South Africa squarely in the international spotlight. By demonstrating it can successfully manage carbon emissions and offset its large carbon footprint, the country will send a much stronger message than simply its ability to host world class events.
This post is sponsored and written by Sustainable.co.za
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