The First Carbon Neutral Soccer World Cup! Qatar’s sustainable action and controversy

The First Carbon Neutral Soccer World Cup! Qatar's sustainable action and controversy
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The World Cup is about to kick off, and relevant preparations have entered the final stage. This year is not only the last kick of the Argentine national football team captain Messi’s career, but also an unprecedented “carbon neutral” event.

The World Cup is about to kick off, and relevant preparations have entered the final stage. This year is not only the last kick of the Argentine national football team captain Messi’s career, but also an unprecedented “carbon neutral” event.   The FIFA World Cup is about to kick off (2022/11/21-12/18). In order to achieve the green goal of sustainable development, the host country, Qatar, has called for this tournament to be the first carbon-neutral World Football Championship, which has particularly triggered focus on.

From venues to transport, Qatar builds first carbon-neutral World Cup

In order to achieve the goal, Qatar has three specific methods. First, an 800MW solar power plant (Al Kharsa’ah) will be set up to serve as a source of electricity for the venue during the event. After the event, it can continue to generate electricity for local use, reducing Qatar’s dependence on natural gas power generation. Second, in view of the fact that many international sports events have been criticized by large-scale construction projects, the new venues have been turned into mosquito stadiums after the event. The seven new stadiums built for this event and one old stadium that has been substantially renovated have been designed in addition to Reduce energy consumption as much as possible, use recyclable materials, plant trees and green environment around the venues, also introduce high-efficiency cooling systems and renewable energy power generation, both open source and cost-saving, all 8 venues are expected to obtain the global permanent GSAS 4-star or above certification (Note 1). Among them, the 974 Stadium (Stadium 974, also known as Ras Abu Aboud), which is composed of 974 large containers and symbolizes Qatar’s international telephone area code +974 , is not only made of recycled and reused environmentally friendly materials, but can also be completely dismantled after the event Recycled and reused, it will become the first “completely disassembled stadium” in the history of World Football. In addition, venues such as Lusail Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium will also be transformed into commercial facilities after the game (Note 2), and 170,000 venue seats will be donated to countries in need . Third, in terms of transportation, the longest distance between the major venues is no more than 75 kilometers (Note 3). You don’t need to take a plane to move in Qatar, which reduces the moving distance of athletes, staff and spectators, and then use public transportation or electric vehicles Transportation can effectively reduce carbon emissions. In addition, in order to reduce the carbon emissions of garbage recycling, the newly established sports venues are integrated with garbage classification management equipment, so that the gymnasiums can be collected immediately. During the construction phase of the Al Janoub Stadium and the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, 90% and 84% of the waste was recycled on site, respectively.   The First Carbon Neutral Soccer World Cup! Qatar's sustainable action and controversy

Everything is just greenwashing? 3 Controversies About the Carbon Neutral World Cup

Not everyone buys into the claims, although FIFA has backed Qatar and is proud of its first carbon-neutral World Cup. Stricter ones even criticize this as “greenwashing”.

There are three main controversies:

First, the non-profit organization “Carbon Market Watch” (Carbon Market Watch) pointed out that the General Assembly underestimated the carbon footprint of the World Cup venues. For example, when calculating the carbon emissions of new venues, only the carbon emissions of No consideration was given to the situation after the event. Second, the carbon emissions that cannot be reduced must be neutralized by planting trees or purchasing carbon rights. However, there is no way to determine the actual carbon emissions before the end of the event. Whether the conference can buy enough carbon emissions as planned Carbon rights are still a question mark. Third, although Qatar claims that the distance between the venues is very close, which can reduce the carbon emissions of round-trip traffic, however, housing in Qatar is limited. As of March this year, there are only 30,000 hotel rooms , which cannot meet the 100 It can be expected that most fans can only choose the neighboring Gulf countries as their accommodation places. For this reason, Qatar announced that as long as spectators hold valid tickets, they can fly to and from Qatar to watch the game from neighboring countries on the same day. Although Qatar claims that the 160 additional flights during the event will have lower carbon emissions than ordinary aircraft, how is this done? But there is no clear explanation. The organizers of this World Cup also admitted frankly that, looking back at the carbon emissions of major football matches in the past 10 years, international routes are the most important source of carbon emissions (accounting for 52% ). Qatar prides itself on not needing domestic flights, but adding flights to and from Qatar and neighboring Gulf countries has also raised doubts. The local media “Doha News” pointed out that since Qatar was selected as the first Gulf country to host the World Cup, Qatar has a heavy mission to host a successful, even the best tournament ever. Although it is difficult to evaluate the success before the end of the game, the degree of environmental protection of the World Cup in Qatar may not be as strong as the General Assembly claimed at present, but what is certain is that every attempt is preparing for the future and constantly Learning from mistakes can make the World Cup a more sustainable and environmentally friendly event.   The First Carbon Neutral Soccer World Cup! Qatar's sustainable action and controversy

Note 1: All constructions have passed 4 stars or above, but the evaluation of operation is still in progress.

Note 2: Commercial facilities include schools, shops, cafes, sports venues, health clinics and five-star hotels, etc.

Note 3: The two farthest venues are Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor to Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.

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