Editor’s Note: Toblach is claiming to produce a “carbon-neutral” stage for the Tour de Ski. It is important to recognize that this is obtained in large part by purchasing carbon offsets, not through reductions in carbon usage. Whether or not this is good, bad, or neutral, is up for debate.
Dobbiaco (Toblach) have engaged strongly in the area of climate protection and thus offers its guests since July 2009 a compensation to the CO2-emissions, which were brought due to their journey and stay in Dobbiaco. Thereby the guests will enjoy a climate neutral vacation in the Alta Pusteria. For this reason the idea was born to organize climate neutral World Cup races, which will take place as part of the Tour de Ski on 06.01 and 07.01.2010 in Dobbiaco.
The CO2-emission of each participating nation has been calculated. In cooperation with Sustainability Consulting of ClimatePartner the hotel specific CO2-emission for each overnight stay has been determined in advance by questioning the hotel trade.
In addition to the carbon dioxide emission from staying in the hotel, a significant amount of emission is due to the arrival and departure of the participants. It is easily determined by a CO2-calculator after establishing the travel distance and the means of transport. The resultant emissions get compensated with investments into climate protection projects. This happens through purchasing and subsequently using up emission reduction certificates of commensurate amounts. The participating teams receive a certificate as an acknowledgement for their climate neutral stay as part of the World Cup race days in Dobbiaco. The Tourism Association covers the cost for it. What’s so special about the climate neutral travel flat-rates is that this emission compensation occurs through the emission certificates of the remote heating and power station (Fernheizkraftwerk Toblach-Innichen, FTI) of Dobbiaco- San Candido. Mr. Fuchs, president of the Fernheizkraftwerk says: “Through generating thermal-electric energy we save yearly on CO2. Thus, it is possible that we have available 70,000 tons of CO2. We support the Tourism-Project in that we offer local FTI emission certificates for the compensation. Climate protection and neutrality need to be made noticeable and comprehensible especially in the area of sport and people must be made aware of today’s actions and their consequences that become visible only tomorrow.”
How does such compensation look like in regards to a World Cup race?
The athletes arrive from Prague (the previous stage of the Tour de Ski) and probably will stay 3 days in Dobbiaco. After the race on 07.01.2010 the teams will travel to Val di Fiemme (ITA) where finals of the Tour de Ski will take place. As an example, lets look at the Italian team consisting of 10 athletes and 5 officials that travel to Dobbiaco, stay there over night for 3 days and after the race depart again. Through this 2,813 kg CO2 emission emerged. The compensation cost gets balanced through the Fernheizkraftwerk (FTI) of Dobbiaco-San Candido. The Tourism Association covers the cost for it.
For Dobbiaco it is important to make athletes and guests aware of the climate changes. The scientific statements about the consequences of the climate changes are very clear: the increasing elevation of the sea level through the warming up of the oceans and the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps, extreme weather events and the increase of temperature. By the end of the 21st century the global average temperature will have increased by 1,4°C to 5,8 °C as compared to 1990. The global warming influences our ecosystem and thereby influences not least also the health of mankind.