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Kiel Week - Sustainable and soon climate neutral

by Andreas Kling 12 Jun 02:07 PDT 18-26 June 2022

Kiel Week, together with the Sylt World Cups in Windsurfing and Kitesurfing, is campaigning for climate protection.

blue life sports is the name of the new initiative, which is intended to be both a role model and a multiplier and to motivate everyone to join in. The goal is not only the climate neutrality of major events.

"It's already five past twelve," warns the world-renowned climate researcher Mojib Latif from Kiel. Nevertheless, the scientist encourages humanity not to give up in the fight against climate change. "That's why we have to educate now and emotionally awaken all active people, fans and guests of Kiel Week and beyond to create a swarm intelligence for this crisis," says Head of Organization Dirk Ramhorst.

For the implementation blue life sports was brought to life. Based on the United Nations Environment Programme, guests are to be sensitised as well as trained and inspired with practical tips. For this purpose, Kiel Week has joined forces with the World Cup regattas in Windsurfing and Kitesurfing on Sylt, which are also very popular with spectators.

Ramhorst: "We use the charisma of these events for a broad public. We also want to discuss the topic on a political and social level."

The Head of Organization from Dänischenhagen builds on the neutrality of the sport and the positive environment of its competitions.

"Sport offers an ideal platform to unite young and old, regardless of their backgrounds, mindsets, and affiliations, to question the status quo when it comes to climate pollution and to make the seemingly impossible still possible," says Ramhorst. His team wants to use the enormous enthusiasm for Kiel Week so that every individual understands how they can integrate climate protection measures into their daily lives.

Kiel Weeks commitment to sustainability has already been strong for several years. Avoiding waste, not using plastic and reusable containers are obligatory. As far as possible, regional products are used for catering. Paper consumption in the regatta administration has been drastically reduced and low-emission solutions have been chosen for mobility. Last but not least, partners and sponsors are also selected and brought along according to these criteria. Since 2019, Kiel Week has carried the Platinum Level Certificate of the Clean Regattas programme of the international initiative Sailors for the Sea - the highest award. Other events will also benefit from the experience and will be happy to advise.

With the goal of being climate-neutral on balance, Kiel Week meets a requirement of the entire state of Schleswig-Holstein. More needs to be done on the way to achieving this goal. Just travelling to a major event, whether as an active participant or a spectator, creates an enormous carbon footprint that is ultimately attributed to the organisers. In the best case scenario, the investment in a mangrove park should compensate for much more than "just" that. A feat without question, but a worthwhile one. Because we only have this one world!

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