The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy is working on a strategy to reduce emissions by establishing a large-scale “tree and turf nursery,” the world’s largest turf farm.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has presented a video message raising a “Green Card for the Planet” to raise awareness about environmental conservation ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The effort is tied to World Environment Day, which is observed every year on 5 June and is the United Nations’ primary vehicle for raising awareness and urging action on the critical global issue.
“As FIFA President, and today, on World Environment Day, I’m asking everyone who loves football and who cares about the environment, to raise FIFA’s Green Card for the Planet,” says Infantino in his video message.
“FIFA is playing its part, with our aim to make the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 carbon neutral,” he added.
He called on people to follow suit in ‘raising’ the FIFA Green Card for the Planet by recording a short message to explain what they’ll will do to preserve the environment and save the planet.
FIFA released its Climate Strategy last November at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland, reiterating its commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Sports for Climate Action Framework, which includes a goal of cutting emissions by half by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2040.
Activists cast doubts
Carbon Market Watch, a non-profit organisation that works closely with the European Union, has expressed reservations that the Gulf state would be able to keep its commitment, according to a new research.
Climate campaigners allege that the country’s anticipated emission strategy was ‘deceptive’ after seeing grand plans for 64 matches scheduled for November and December this year.
The World Cup is expected to emit 3.6 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), according to Qatar.
However, research by Carbon Market Watch, accused the government of neglecting certain important sources of emissions that might contradict its claim of being “carbon neutral”.
“It would be great to see the climate impact of FIFA World Cups being drastically reduced but the carbon neutrality claim that is being made is simply not credible,” said Gilles Dufrasne of CMW, author of the analysis.
“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 a sufficiently positive impact on the climate.”
The carbon emissions from new stadiums might be up to eight times higher than the estimates in Qatar’s first projection, according to CMW’s ‘Yellow card for the 2022 FIFA World Cup’s carbon neutrality claim’ research.
It also notes that additional sources of emissions are absent from the study, such as those resulting from “the exclusion of emissions from maintaining and operating stadiums in the many years following the tournament.”
In recent months, both FIFA and Qatar have doubled down on assurances that the 2022 tournament will be “carbon neutral”, pointing towards sustainable stadiums, lack of need for flights to match venues, as well as green public transportation.