Payment due for CO2 pollution at World Cup

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Payment due for CO2 pollution at World Cup

The Ministry of Environment received a unique fund-raising request from the United Nations Environment Programme last month.

The UNEP, based in Nairobi, Kenya, requested $7,149 to compensate for 668 tons of carbon dioxide emissions that the agency says the Korean soccer team produced during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The UNEP informed the soccer team of the following usage: the round-trip flight from Korea to South Africa produced an estimated 584 tons of carbon dioxide, travel inside South Africa produced another 54 tons and air conditioning and electricity from the team’s accommodations produced a remaining 30 tons. The organization is charging about $12 for each ton of carbon dioxide emissions.

The UNEP said the money will go toward building solar energy systems or organic waste composting facilities in developing countries.

Korea is not the only country that received the fund-raising letter. The UNEP asked for donations from Serbia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and 12 other countries. The amounts differ by each country’s travel distance.

Kim Yong-jin, a director of the International Affairs Division at the Korea Ministry of the Environment, said, “We requested a CO2 donation fund from the participating countries during the 2008 Ramsar Convention in Changwon, South Gyeongsang.”

“Because of the outstanding [performance by] the Korean team in the World Cup,” he said, “the Environment Ministry ... decided to pay.”

Before the World Cup took place in South Africa, the International Federation of Football Association and the UNEP estimated that 2,753,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions would be produced during the World Cup.

The UNEP first asked for the CO2 donation fund at the Climate Change Convention last December held in Copenhagen, when 17 countries promised to contribute.


By Kang Chan-su [enational@joongang.co.kr]

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