2022 World Cup Countdown Clock, QatarSC

Qatar 2022: What is a carbon-neutral World Cup? What does it mean?

On June 5, World Environment Day, the governing of football, FIFA, has proclaimed that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be a carbon-neutral tournament.

On Sunday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino raised a "Green Card for the Planet" by delivering a video message to encourage awareness about protecting the environment while promising that the upcoming World Cup will ensure environment is not harmed.

So, what is a carbon-neutral tournament and how will Qatar, the hosts for the World Cup, achieve the same?

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What is a carbon-neutral World Cup?

The term carbon-neutral translates to any event or program that balances its carbon emission with green initiatives. It means the event will take out as much carbon from the atmosphere as it emits into it.

So, a carbon-neutral World Cup in 2022 means that Qatar have committed to taking out as much carbon out of the atmosphere as it has emitted into it through various projects related to the World Cup.

Seven venues for the World Cup have been built from scratch by Qatar. The amount of carbon that has been emitted into the atmosphere through these projects and more will be taken out through sustainable initiatives to ensure a carbon-neutral World Cup.

What has FIFA said about a carbon-neutral 2022 World Cup?

In a video message on Sunday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino called on all staeholders, from fans to players, to participate in green initiatives that will help with FIFA Climate Strategy - a strategy pledged by FIFA during theUN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland last year.

“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,” said Gianni Infantino.

“FIFA is playing its’ part, with our aim to make the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 carbon neutral. So, I call on all of you to raise the FIFA Green Card for the Planet and to record a short message, telling us what you will do to preserve the environment and save our world, and post this message on social media. Let’s engage on this!”

What are Qatar doing to make the 2022 World Cup carbon-neutral?

Apart from initiating numerous sustainable development measures, Qatar have also committed to waste reduction and such to ensure the environment is protected.

Much of the carbon-neutrality of the 2022 World Cup is centred around its compact nature. All the stadiums are located within 75 km of each other, which means players, officials and teams do not need to fly around during the tournament, reducing those emissions by a huge amount.

Even the fans do not need to fly and can take the Doha Metro and other public transport options which are easier to get around the stadiums than say, taking a cab or driving around.

There will also be electric buses and cars during the tournament to reduce emissions. Charging stations for these vehicles are being installed across Doha.

Stadium 974 was built using shipping containers for Qatar 2022SC

Another example of a sustainable practice is the Ras Abu Aboud stadium or the Stadium 974. It is fully dismountable after the World Cup and can be used in other legacy projects elsewhere in the world, reducing waste. There are also recycling measures put in place at the stadiums to reduce unnecessary wastage of resources.

Qatar are also developing a huge 800MW solar energy plant at Al Kharsa'ah to power the World Cup. Renewable energy will be used to power a lot of features at the stadiums.

Qatar are also planting trees at around the stadiums to create green spaces throughout the venues.