How green is the cup??

Besides the green on the soccer field and the name of Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, how green will the cup be??

Let’s do the bad news first, shall we??

So according to the final report of the “Feasibility Study for a Carbon Neutral 2010 FIFA World Cup”, commissioned in partnership by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Norwegian Government, there will be  approximately 2.75 million tonnes of carbon emissions.  This takes into account international travel, intercity transport, stadium construction, and so on.

The Cape Angus newspaper has also estimated that approximately 2000 planes will fly over South Africa daily for the duration of the cup.

It has also been estimated that this event will have the largest carbon footprint of any event in the world, and will have 8 times the amount of emissions as the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Thankfully, there are some good news as well.

In Johannesberg, the “Greening Soweto” initiative is well underway.  The goal is to plant 300,000 trees that will cost the region approximately $1.1 million.  Riverbanks and  other polluted areas are also being cleaned of rubble and refuse.  All soccer fields and open spaces are being grassed.  Rubble from the old Orleans Stadium and Soccer City will be reused to build new facilities.

Natural resources will be used in Soccer City.  Rainwater will be caught in massive retainers and used to irrigate the field, and “gray water” will be used in all washrooms.

Yingli Green Energy, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar panels, will equip all 20 of FIFA’s “Centres for 2010” with solar panels.

As far as I can tell, regardless of all these initiatives, the goal seems to be a carbon-neutral result, which means that there is enough being done to counter the 2.75 million tonnes.  I’m not sure how possible this is in reality, but I do wish them all the best and hope that they reach their goal.