World Cup Nations Team Up Against Climate Change
More than half of Qualified Teams Commit to Offsetting their Journeys to South Africa
News Comes as UNEP-GEF Announce $1 million Funding for Climate-Friendly Actions in Six Host Cities
Copenhagen, 7 December 2009 - As the climate talks kick off in Copenhagen, key football nations are teaming up for the planet for the biggest sport event of 2010.
More than half of the countries that have qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup have committed or pledged to offset the emissions of their teams' and officials' flights to South Africa for the competition.
Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Cote d'Ivoire, England, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Serbia, USA, Uruguay and host country South Africa are among the squads determined to score green goals for the environment in 2010.
Tackling transport is central to greening the World Cup, as emissions generated by the teams' and spectators' international travel to South Africa will make up more than 67 per cent of the event's total greenhouse gas emissions.
The news was announced in Copenhagen on the first day of the UN climate talks, during a press conference with representatives of the seventeen World Cup teams alongside Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.
Achim Steiner said: "Today footballing nations representing millions if not billions of fans are standing up and being counted as environmental ambassadors for one of the greatest spectator events in the calendar. Every one of the teams is determined to make a sporting impact in South Africa while reducing their impact on the global environment. I hope the remaining nations participating in South Africa will want to come on-side for the climate in order to score their own green goals in 2010".
The news comes as UNEP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) announced further support towards greening the World Cup with a one million dollar funding package.