Clean environment, sustainable legacy: Qatar dazzles world with first carbon-neutral World Cup

Doha: As part of its strategy to host the first carbon-neutral edition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Qatar is establishing global standards in the field of environmental conservation, which will serve as a model in major international tournaments, in addition to building a sustainable legacy that will benefit future generations.

A carbon-neutral tournament means achieving a balance in the carbon emissions resulting from vehicles exhausts, energy-generating processes and ensuring that the percentage of carbon in the air does not increase in order to avoid the occurrence or exacerbation of many environmental problems such as global warming and climate change that may cause countless environmental disasters.

In its strategy to organize the first carbon-neutral edition, Qatar relies on the level of sustainability for stadiums according to different categories, including design, construction, energy and water use, as well as installing stations to measure air quality, gas emissions and dust in all World Cup stadiums.

The strategy included organizing a mechanism for sorting waste during the construction phase of the stadiums, to reduce the carbon footprint, which resulted in the recycling of about 80% of the waste resulting from the construction of the World Cup stadiums, as well as water conservation, waste and carbon emissions management, use of renewable energy whenever possible, environmental protection, and urban connectivity.

On its way to host the largest sporting event in the history of the Middle East and the Arab world, Qatar worked on making its mark in the field of renewable energy and focusing on any commitment or action in the field of reducing carbon emissions, on scientific basis and accurate research results in all infrastructure projects related to the tournament, in addition to the eight stadium projects designated to host the World Cup competitions.

While preparing for the race to organize the largest sporting event in the world, Qatar has succeeded in implementing many effective programs and plans to reduce carbon emissions that are harmful to health and the climate, and it received unparalleled local and international approval and support.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body responsible for delivering the infrastructure projects necessary for Qatar to host the World Cup, stresses that sustainability has been, from the beginning, a major focus of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as it cooperated in January 2020, with the International Football Association (FIFA) to develop the Charter for Sustainable Resources for the World Cup, which sets out the minimum standards that suppliers and tournament sponsors must adhere to, in addition to adhering to strict environmental standards.

The eight FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums have received praise for their sustainable designs, how they are built, and their daily management. It also obtained the certificates of the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) from the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD) of 5 stars and at least 4 stars for design, construction and facility management, in addition to golden certificates for its operations.

The sustainability strategy for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will change the way tournaments and various major sporting events are organized in the future. It will establish a sustainable legacy that contributes to the promotion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Qatar National Vision 2030.

Eng. Abdulrahman Al Muftah, Sustainability and Environment Specialist at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) noted that Qatar seeks to reach what is known as “carbon neutrality” during hosting the World Cup by achieving four main goals, which are raising the level of awareness of individuals and key partners and involving them in efforts to achieve this goal, knowing the carbon stock resulting from the activities related to the tournament, identifying the most important sources of carbon emissions and international standards to reduce these emissions, and conducting a carbon budget by investing in green and environmentally friendly projects.

Al Muftah explained that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will witness a large turnout of fans to use public transportation, especially the Doha Metro network, pointing out that the advanced transport network, including trams and a fleet of energy-efficient buses, will play an important role in reducing carbon emissions, in addition to the electric buses that will be used during the tournament competitions.

The Ministry of Transportation has prepared exemplary plans and programs that balance the goal of organizing the first carbon-free World Cup with the countrys general strategy and Qatar National Vision 2030, which includes a gradual shift to the use of electric transportation and renewable energy, especially in the transportation sector to achieve the required percentage to reduce the rate of harmful carbon emissions caused by traditional transportation by 2030, in addition to achieving concerted efforts to preserve environmental sustainability.

The transport network is one of the main axes in hosting FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as Qatar has achieved a huge leap in the development of this sector over the past years. The total investments in the public transport network during the past few years reached QR84bn, including QR66.5bn in the development of the Doha Metro network, QR13.5bn in the development of the Lusail Tram and QR4bn in the infrastructure of electric buses.

A public transport system has been developed to reduce the number of public transport cars and buses on the streets, including the Doha Metro, new bus routes, and tram systems in Lusail City and Education City, as well as replacing 25 percent of public buses with electric buses for use during the tournament, all with the aim of reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution.

During its bid to host the first closely spaced edition in the modern history of the World Cup, Qatar took advantage of its geographical nature in order to reach carbon neutrality in the 2022 World Cup, as the eight stadiums are located within a small area, and the longest distance between two World Cup stadiums does not exceed 75 km.

This will allow visitors and fans to stay in one residence for the duration of the tournament without the inconvenience of traveling from one city to another.

Five of the World Cup stadiums are connected to the Doha Metro, which acts as a link between the stadiums, while fans can reach the other three stadiums through buses designated for this purpose.

Moreover, the designs of the eight stadiums for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 considered the commitment to carbon emission reduction standards in order to reduce energy and water consumption, and reuse and recycle water and materials as much as possible.


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