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24th November 2022

Qatar's World Cup sustainability promises are deficient

Qatar's World Cup sustainability promises are deficient

Despite heralding itself as the first carbon neutral World Cup, there are many emission-rich aspects which officials have neglected to take into account. Despite claims of being carbon neutral, with the Qatar World Cup, there are more problems surrounding sustainability than meet the eye. Can you illustrate to our readers what some of these might be? Qatar is claiming to be ‘on track to hosting a carbon-neutral World Cup.’  In order to justify their carbon neutral claim, the Organising Committee is heavily off-setting the emissions generated.  However, it’s been reported that the total amount of emissions claimed are underestimated by as much as 40%, and that the Qatar World Cup will emit more carbon dioxide than any other recent sporting event.

Claims of carbon neutrality in large-scale events are controversial, particularly when they rest heavily on offsetting. Qatar will plant 16,000 trees – which once mature, will offset the annual carbon emissions of 11 Qatari citizens – not nearly enough to balance against building seven stadiums. Qatar organisers cited the ‘meaningful use of the stadiums for decades to come’ and claimed that ‘only a small fraction of emissions should be associated.’ But we must only look at previous World Cup hosts and observe empty shells of stadiums to know that these promises don’t often last long past the final whistle. As well as stadiums, infrastructure to accommodate nearly 3 million spectators and personnel, required a vast increase in hotels and campsites.  A lot of fans were unable to book accommodation and have stayed in neighboring countries and are flying into Qatar for matches – with as many as 500 flights a day coming in and out of the country and which haven’t been accounted for in the predicted carbon footprint measurement.

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