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The Contribution of the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games to Green Economy

This paper focuses on the contribution of mega events onto the development of a green economy at the event host location and discusses how to measure it. The promises of organizers usually are very ambitious but the question remains as to how realistic these claims are. This question addressed in three sections by using methods that are primarily analytical and critical rather than an empirical collection of data. The research question for this paper is: How realistic is it to expect that mega events can contribute to a green legacy and develop a green economy at the event host location?

The environmental sustainability of mega sport events is discussed and then a framework is developed to capture the green legacy and the basis for building up a green economy in all its dimensions. The main contribution mega events can make to developing a green economy at the host city will be explained. Furthermore, the paper seeks to explain why promises made during the bidding process on the environmental sustainability are often not met when it comes to the preparation for the event. The current obstacles to producing Green Games and building up a green economy are presented enlightened, ranging from financial shortcomings to a lack of serious environmental interest on the part of the organizers.

In conclusion, it is shown that mega events encourage the development of a green economy by their signaling power and educational opportunities. The concept of sustainability to be spread through mega events is an idea worth exploring. As these events are high profile, very visible, and attract worldwide attention, the organizers cannot afford to ignore widely shared concerns about sustainability. The attractiveness of a mega event obviously presents opportunities for strengthening the green economy, but there are obstacles to be overcome. In the following, 3 steps will be presented to illustrate how mega events can contribute developing a green economy as legacy.

  1. The first step towards greener events was taken when the International Sport Governing Bodies included environmental protection in their Charters.
  2. The second step in promoting a green economy is to ensure that the promises made by the successful candidate are fulfilled.
  3. The third step towards a green economy would be to use the interest in a mega event to develop educational curricula.


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