More than half million donations of UN- backed carbon credits to offset World Cup GHG

Donations of U.N.-backed carbon credits to help reduce the carbon footprint of the World Cup in Brazil have surpassed the half million mark.

Brazilian companies or local branches of multinationals so far donated 545,500 certified emissions reductions (CERs) in response to a campaign that, in exchange, offered publicity in the tournament’s official documents.

The Brazilian government said the donations so far can offset 38 percent of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the tournament.

Brazil estimates the World Cup carbon footprint at 1.4 million tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), mainly related to construction works in and around the stadiums and staff movements. But that does not include the emissions generated by FIFA, the soccer governing body, and the local organizing committee.

FIFA also has a program to reduce the Cup’s GHG emissions, but it is buying the credits for it. The organization uses different types of credits, not only the U.N.-backed CERs. One of the projects that benefited was the Purus in the Amazon, which aims to avoid deforestation in an area of 35,000 hectares.

The organization said it would offset 331,000 tonnes of CO2e resulting from its preparations and for the trips of 17,000 ticket holders who have filled a form in FIFA’s website with details of their travels.

It has estimated total emissions for the World Cup and the Confederations Cup that was played a year before at 2.7 million tonnes of CO2e, well above the estimated 1.7 million from the previous tournament in South Africa.