2014 World Cup as polluting as 560,000 cars

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 9, 2013 at 4:53 am •  Published: December 9, 2013

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — The World Cup may be great for planet football, but it isn't so good for planet Earth.

FIFA says the 2014 tournament, which will require huge amounts of air travel to venues across Brazil, will produce the equivalent of 2.72 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

That means staging the month-long tournament will produce as much carbon dioxide as 560,000 passenger cars do in one year, according to the greenhouse gas calculator on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website.

FIFA will compensate for a small part of World Cup carbon emissions by offsetting. That means financing projects, such as planting trees, which help reduce carbon emissions elsewhere. FIFA's head of corporate social responsibility, Federico Addiechi, said in an interview that they'll be spending several million dollars.

Teams, spectators, officials and others will have to crisscross the world's fifth-largest country, mostly by air, because the 64 World Cup matches were scattered across 12 stadiums.

Fans will produce about 90 percent of World Cup carbon emissions, Addiechi said. The rest — about 251,000 tons — is directly from FIFA's activities. That includes travel for teams, referees, FIFA officials, carbon produced by their hotels, the use of stadiums and other tournament-related activities.

"We're going to offset 100 percent of those emissions," Addiechi said.

That could be done by financing reforestation in Brazil, wind farms, hydroelectric plants or other projects. The projects will be announced next year. Addiechi said they will cost FIFA about $2.5 million, which is still just a fraction of the billions expected in World Cup revenue.

A FIFA-commissioned study breaks down World Cup emissions like this:

—213,706 tons from the Confederations Cup tournament in June.

—38,048 tons from other preparations, including last week's draw, which required more than 3,000 guests and journalists to trek to a huge tent erected at a remote beach resort on Brazil's Atlantic coast.

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