In just over 13 months, millions of soccer fans will descend on Germany for the World Cup. To limit the strain on the environment, the organizing committee has announced the Green Goal campaign.
Bend it like Jürgen! Environment Minister Trittin presents Green Goal
The Green Goal environmental initiative should make the World Cup the most environmentally 'neutral' event of its caliber ever. Now, to mark the launch of the campaign, Green Goal has its own Web site.
With the introduction of the Green Goal initiative, the World Cup takes on new meaning
"We have committed to comprehensive, measurable environmental targets at a decentralized, large-scale sporting event for the very first time," German Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin said at a ceremony to activate the Green Goal Internet site at the Berlin Olympic Stadium.
"We always knew the biggest challenge from an environmental point of view would be organizing transportation, especially given the decentralized nature of the event. I'm delighted the OC has already laid down important markers."
Getting the million of visitors to the stadiums presents a massive challenge for the organizing committee. For the up to 15,000 journalists expected, there will be one big advantage -- they will be able to use the transportation systems for free.
"During the six weeks of the World Cup, journalists will be able to use the Inter-City and local networks of the German railways throughout the country," Trittin announced.
Stadiums lie at the heart of the initiative
Green Goal's target is to reduce the event's impact on the global climate. To do this, the initiative covers five core areas: water, refuse, energy, mobility and "climate neutrality."
Fans will be going primarily with public transportation to the stadiums, here Berlin's Olympic Stadium
The 12 stadiums throughout Germany are at the heart of the campaign. Up to a fifth of the water needed will be regained from surface, rain and spring water. Spectators for the most part will use public transportation to get to the stadiums. And soccer enthusiasts from outside of Germany will be introduced to the national pastime of separating garbage into plastic, paper, glass and other.
'Climate neutral' is a critical catch phrase for the World Cup 2006. Up to 100,000 extra tons of greenhouse gases are likely to be generated and the organizing committee has struck an agreement with FIFA to neutralize the negative effects.
"Insofar as it is possible, we want to reduce overall energy consumption and use eco-friendly energy," commented OC vice-president Wolfgang Niersbach. "The emissions which will still inevitably arise will be cancelled out by climate protection projects in other places. Together with all parties involved, our aim is to contribute towards a lasting legacy from the 2006 FIFA World Cup."
Environmental projects served
Victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami disaster are supposed to benefit from the Green Goal initiative
A zero-sum greenhouse gas competition is the goal, though that's unrealistic. To compensate, the OC and its partners will invest in climate protection schemes elsewhere. One million euros ($1.29 million) are already available for this.
"Projects will be chosen in certain countries, most importantly in those areas hit by the tsunami and in South Africa, that satisfy the greatest demands of environmental groups," said Christian Hochfeld from the Ecological Institute that helped develop the campaign.
The Economics Ministry has estimated the tournament will generate over 10 billion euros in revenue, and the government says it's only right that some of that money be used to balance out any negative effects on the environment.