As Qatar 2022 World Cup nears, eco groups sceptical on net-zero emissions

Though Qatar 2022 organisers promise carbon neutrality, environment groups aren’t convinced

The World Cup Soccer tournament will get underway in Qatar next month. In the run up to the mega event, the organisers had promised that the tournament will be carbon neutral, and all measures have been taken to offsetting any damage to the environment. However, environmental groups are not convinced.

Environment organisations have come up with charges that the promises are not something they would go by and they have warned that the World Cup tournament will be a polluting affair, contrary to the promises made by the organisers.

Though the Qatar 2022 World Cup organisers have insisted that the mega event will ensure net-zero emissions and that it will be made sure that it would mitigate and offset all greenhouse gas emissions, the environmental groups aren’t ready to accept that to be true.

Scepticism rides high as Qatar 2022 is round the bend

The eco groups are sceptical to the core. They have pointed to the eight air-conditioned stadiums that will be some of the reasons for the carbon footprint. They feel that the organisers are just making false promises.

The Qatar 2022 organisers have projected figures of CO2 emissions at 3.6 million tonnes. And these will be triggered by indirect things, they say, adding that it would be transport, infrastructure building and housing that would cause the CO2 emissions. The environmental groups are not willing to see these figures as complete. According to them, Qatar has underestimated the footprint of constructing eight new stadiums, by at least a factor of eight.

But then, the argument of the organisers is that these stadiums will stay on for more events in future and the environmental impact should not be linked to just one event. This argument is negated by the ecology warriors, who feel that “banking on continued use of eight massive sporting venues in a country of just 2.4 million inhabitants is risky,” said a report.

Infra building, air transport seen as adding to emission woes

It has also been pointed out that stadium air conditioning in Qatar, would contribute only a tiny amount to the tournament’s climate impact, compared to the total emissions from constructing stadiums or from air transport. It is a given fact that Qatar will be building mega infrastructure so as to accommodate the world’s largest sporting event.

This coming at a time when Qatar was supposed to keep emissions in check is being flagged by the eco groups. They believe that countries like the US which already have good infrastructure should have been given the mandate to host such big events like the soccer World Cup.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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