Should climate sinners face World Cup ban?

June 13, 2008

Smoke billows from a power plant as an aircraft flies by in Qingdao, Shandong province, January 12, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA)Among suggestions for slowing global warming it may be the most radical — countries failing to keep promises to curb emissions should not be allowed to send a soccer team to the World Cup.

June 2-13 talks in Bonn on a new deal to widen the Kyoto Protocol after  a first period ends in 2012 are ending on Friday with few agreements and many criticisms about a lack of progress.

But how do you focus delegations’ minds and get countries to do more to curb greenhouse gas emissions? U.N. reports last year warning the world of rising temperatures, droughts, rising seas and other risks in coming decades have not fully done the trick.

Sanctions under the Kyoto Protocol, the main existing plan for fighting climate change running to 2012, involve imposing stiffer greenhoues cuts in a next period. But does that do the job?

Rarely for a U.N. climate meeting, the Bonn sessions have often ended promptly at about 6 p.m. – and some delegates have been more agitated talking about the Euro 2008 soccer than about the threats to the planet. Croatia’s Darijo Srna (C) scores past Germany’s goalkeeper Jens Lehmann during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match against Germany at the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, June 12, 2008. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

  So Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, has a joking proposal:  ”if countries don’t comply their teams shouldn’t be allowed to go to the World Cup.”

   What do you think?


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Unfortunately, the plan is doomed from the start. Neither of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters–the U.S. and China–are soccer nations. Meyer’s proposal would provide zero motivation for either nation to reach their emission targets.

No doubt, this World Cup punishment would disproportionately hurt countries in Europe and Latin America, where the Beautiful Game is an obsession.

(Clearly I’m taking this idea WAY too seriously…)

“U.N. reports last year warning the world of rising temperatures, droughts, rising seas and other risks in coming decades have not fully done the trick.” I don’t beleive that for a single moment with various parts of the world reaching record LOWS. How can we take this seriously when the author is this article states that it was a “joking proposal”… And that’s what it is, it’s condemning soccer players and fans that have ALL had on impact of climate change.

Posted by jdude | Report as abusive

If the only organization you could get a quote from was Union of Concerned Scientist, than it must have been a convention of uninformed scientists.

Oh I don’t know – a World Cup final of Mongolia v Butan would be something worth seeing!