Qatar’s insistent that they are set to host ‘the first carbon neutral FIFA World Cup in history’ has been branded as ‘misleading’ by Carbon Market Watch.
The state released a report in late 2021 stating that they would be achieving carbon-neutrality during the tournament through ‘four key components’:
“Firstly, it required raising awareness among key stakeholders, including the general public. This was followed by us creating a detailed estimation of what our carbon footprint will be. The third step is the one that most people will hear about, and that is the measures taken to limit carbon emissions, which will lead us to the final part of the process, which is investing in green projects that will offset any of the remaining emissions associated with Qatar 2022.”
However, these measures are said to ignore key sources of emissions – a point expressed by Gilles Dufrasne of Carbon Market Watch to the BBC:
“Despite a lack of transparency, the evidence suggests that the emissions from this World Cup will be considerably higher than expected by the organisers, and the carbon credits being purchased to offset these emissions are unlikely to have any positive impact on the climate..
“Calling the event itself carbon neutral is problematic. Even if the accounting had been done properly, it gives a false sense of achievement and says we can continue to host this mega event every four years and can continue to do that at no significant cost to the climate.
“This gives a false idea to the general public and fans attending, so the policy makers need to communicate correctly about the impact of these events, putting the measures in place to reduce emissions but then still be clear about the fact that these events come at a cost. We need to be transparent about it.”