One of the world's biggest sporting events, the FIFA World Cup is preparing to going green come next year's games. This follows an annoucement at the United Nations climate change conference, that more than half of the countries that have qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa have committed to off-setting carbon emissions caused by their teams and officials' flights to the competition. The Oceania region who have enjoyed the excitement of playoffs such as those between the Solomon Islands and Dubai (pictured) will be represented at the 2010 FIFA World Cup by New Zealand, whose 48 team and officials, travelling to the games will be paying over 11 million US dollars, on off setting their carbon foot prints.
Among the top teams that have pledged are Argentina, Brazil, England, Japan and New Zealand, who join host South Africa, who are aiming to score green goals for the environment, through the cause, an initiative of the UN Environment ProgrammUNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner has urged fans and teams to be part of the incentive.
' Footballing nations representing millions, if not billions of fans are standing up and are being counted as environmental ambassadors, for one of the greatest spectator events on the calendar. I hope the remaining teams will want to come on side for the climate in order to score their own green goals, " he said.
The news comes as UNEP and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) announced a one million dollar funding package, towards greening the World Cup.
The funding is going towards helping six host cities in South Africa reduce their energy consumption by installing solar powered street lamps, traffic lights and bill boards.
The funds paid by the teams will complement exisiting green intiatives by South Africa and will include investments in public transport, rainwater harvest, recycling and tree planting drives.
Photocredit: Oceania Football Federation