UNEP and GEF Support a Greener Football World Cup in 2010

GEF7 December 2009: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have announced support towards greening the World Cup with a one million dollar funding package to ensure that the event has a long-term sustainable impact on the country and the region.

In addition, over 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. The news was announced in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the first day of the UN climate talks, during a press conference with representatives of the 17 World Cup teams alongside Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.

Among the activities supported by the GEF is a responsible tourism initiative through the Green Passport, which will be distributed to visitors during the World Cup to provide people with tips on how to travel sustainably. Other initiatives by South African organizers include multi-bin systems for recycling in catering areas at World Cup venues, the cleanup of waste hot spots in Mangaung, education programmes on soccer and the environment for 40 schools in Cape Town, and the planting of 200,000 trees around Johannesburg. [GEF Press Release]