When Elton dos Santos Oliveira enrolled in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Carbon Offsetting Programme after buying tickets to see Korea Republic-Algeria in Porto Alegre, he could hardly have imagined where he would end up. Now, thanks to the scheme, the bank worker from Rio Grande do Sul has won flights, hotel accommodation and match tickets for the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

What’s more, taking part in the programme did not cost Elton Oliveira a penny. He simply filled out an online application form, and then on 3 June found out that he had won. "It's a fantastic prize, with flights, hotel accommodation and match tickets. It’ll be great. My neighbours say it’s like winning the lottery," said Elton, who lives with his wife Taylene in San Antonio da Patrulha in Rio Grande do Sul. "Everyone back home is amazed. They’re all talking about it. Lots of people don’t believe me,” he laughed. “They say I bought the tickets myself, and am just telling people that I won them through FIFA.”

Carbon offsetting helps to reduce the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions in one location by removing or preventing emissions elsewhere, through the development of projects with low carbon emissions. FIFA will offset all carbon emissions under the operational control of FIFA and the LOC, estimated at 251,000 tonnes. This total includes the travel and accommodation of all employees, directors, teams, volunteers and guests. It also covers all emissions arising from related activities, such as World Cup 2014 official events and competition draws since 2011, plus all emissions from facilities, stadiums and offices operated by FIFA and the LOC. 

The aim of the programme is to encourage ticket holders to offset carbon emissions caused by their travel to attend matches at the World Cup, thereby increasing awareness of environmental protection. That was certainly the case with Elton. "I didn’t know about the project, but then I went to the FIFA website and read all about it," he said.

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