Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022: New research calls carbon neutrality claim into question

According to a recent analysis, Fifa and Qatar’s statements that the 2022 World Cup would be carbon neutral entail “creative accounting” and are “misleading.”

According to Carbon Market Watch, despite claims that it will be the first football World Cup to accomplish so, the event will not have a net-zero carbon impact.

The estimations, according to the researchers, “neglect important sources of emissions.”

Organizers claimed in a statement that drawing inferences about their dedication was “speculative and misleading.”

In September, organisers disclosed their plans to host the first “carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup in the event’s history.”

They emphasised the tournament’s compact character, the use of renewable energy at the eight stadiums, and the usage of solar power in the country during the World Cup.

Fifa claims it has “never misled its stakeholders.”

“We are on pace to staging a carbon-neutral World Cup,” a representative for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) told BBC Sport.

“The technique used to estimate the carbon-neutral pledge is best in practise, and it was meant to be based on real activity data following the World Cup.” This will be made public, and any inconsistencies will be clarified and corrected.

“No other country has connected with its population so intimately to guarantee a lasting legacy is left behind after a FIFA World Cup.”

According to the report’s author, Gilles Dufrasne, the carbon neutrality claim “is simply not credible,” adding, “Despite a lack of transparency, the evidence suggests that the emissions from this World Cup will be significantly higher than expected by the organisers, and the carbon credits purchased to offset these emissions are unlikely to have any positive impact on the climate.”

“Calling the event itself carbon neutral is tricky,” Dufrasne told BBC Sport. Even if the accounting was done correctly, it offers a false sense of accomplishment by implying that we can continue to hold this enormous event every four years at no substantial cost to the environment.

“This gives the general public and fans attending a misleading impression, therefore policymakers must communicate clearly about the impact of big events, putting measures in place to minimise emissions while remaining clear that these events come at a cost.” We need to be open about it.”

The analysis reveals an underestimating of emissions connected with new stadium construction, with seven of the eight sites constructed from the ground up and the other considerably rebuilt.

It also calls into doubt the “credibility and independence” of a carbon credits mechanism designed just for the competition.

“The emissions that will be inevitable while preparing for and hosting the event will be mitigated by investing in globally recognised and certified carbon credits,” the SC continued.

“The SC’s choice to offset carbon emissions clearly and proactively in a reasonable manner should be recognised.”

According to a Fifa analysis released in June, the 2022 World Cup may generate up to 3.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is more than some countries create in a year.

According to the International Energy Agency, Montenegro, Iceland, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo all generated less than three million tonnes of CO2 in 2018.

“Fifa is fully aware of the risks that mega-events pose on the economy, the natural environment, and on people and communities, and has been making efforts to tackle those impacts and use opportunities that arise to mitigate the negative impacts and maximise the positive impacts of its iconic tournament,” the sport’s world governing body said in a statement.

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