While soccer fans worldwide gave their rapt attention to World Cup matches this weekend, Treehugger paused to consider the carbon emissions expected to be released during the international sports event.
A study conducted by the Norwegian embassy and South African government just before the games showed that this year's World Cup will emit 2,753,251 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, "which is roughly equivalent to the amount released by one million cars over the course of a year--and six times worse than those emitted during the last World Cup."
The heightened emissions for the 2010 World Cup can be chalked up to factors stemming from the South African location.
For one, far more people arrived to the games on international flights as opposed to by rail or car, which was the case for the 2006 World Cup in Berlin. The Norwegian report estimates that the total emissions from transportation will reach 1,856,589 tons.According to the study, another 15,390 tons of CO2 went into building infrastructure to support the games. A shortage of soccer stadiums in South Africa meant that new ones needed to be built, meaning cement needed to be produced, and at a high cost to the environment. In manufacturing one ton of cement, a ton of CO2 is emitted, reports SuperMundo.
Treehugger does mention the measures South Africa is taking to offset some of the damage, including the creation of a high-speed rail line, as well as the government's plans to plant hundreds of thousands of trees in in urban areas across the country.
Photo via Treehugger