The 2006 FIFA Soccer World Cup finals to be held in Berlin will be making environmental history this coming year as it strives toward its proclaimed goal of 'climate neutrality.' Seeing as the World Cup finals are the most popular sporting event in the world, more so than even the Olympics, this will be the largest climate neutral sports event ever. The World Cup Organizing Committee has signed a partnership agreement with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and Germany's environmental minister to assess the games' environmental impact and develop the Green Goal initiative for offsetting the estimated 100,000 metric tons of greenhouse gasses expected to be emitted by the event's activity.But maybe the most interesting part of this is the way in which the emissions are being offset. Typically, climate neutrality is achieved through the planting of trees (the G8 Summit and Coldplay's Little Big Man album were both rendered c-neutral through tree planting), but the World Cup has devised a system that will initiate clean energy programs in a region of India hit hard by the recent Tsunami. Special "Family Clean Energy Packages," devised specially for the Green Goal initiative, will set up rural villagers with biogas digesters that will generate cooking gas from cow manure. This is intended to replace the use of kerosene and wood as the primary fuels, methods that contribute to climate change, deforestation, and respiratory disease. In a press release, the Organizing Committee described their goal as to "provide eco-friendly, safe and guaranteed energy supplies thus simultaneously protecting the local and global climate, and improving the villagers' quality of life."
To top this off, the group to carry out the clean energy program is the Indian organization Women for Sustainable Development. The brilliance of this program it its aim of effectively addressing inseparable ecological and social issues. Maybe this approach can provide some inspiration for our own disaster region redevelopment down South: rebuilding in a way that acknowledges the link between human activity, climate events, and social stratification. :: World Cup