World Cup 2022: Fifa’s zero-carbon neutrality claims ‘very dangerous and misleading’

World Cup 2022: Fifa’s zero-carbon neutrality claims ‘very dangerous and misleading’
World Cup 2022: Fifa’s zero-carbon neutrality claims ‘very dangerous and misleading’

World Cup 2022: Fifa’s zero-carbon neutrality claims ‘very dangerous and misleading’

  • David Lockwood and Matt Warrick
  • BBC Sport

World Cup 2022: Fifa’s zero-carbon neutrality claims ‘very dangerous and misleading’

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Some environmentalists say FIFA’s claims that the World Cup will achieve zero carbon neutrality are “dangerous and misleading” and that the tournament could have a carbon footprint three times that advertised.

FIFA is also facing complaints and criticism across Europe and an open letter calling for it to abandon its environmental sustainability policy.

FIFA says the carbon footprint of the World Cup, to be held in Qatar later this month, is equivalent to 3.6 million tonnes of carbon waste and that this will be offset through a number of initiatives.

But Lancaster University’s Mike Berners-Lee said: “We looked at FIFA’s carbon footprint estimate. [للبطولة]We believe it will be well over 10 million tonnes – at least triple what has been announced.”

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Mike Berners-Lee

Climate scientist Professor Kevin Anderson of the University of Manchester considers FIFA’s claims to be “highly misleading and extremely dangerous”.

“This tournament will have a direct human cost,” Anderson says. “There’s a huge amount of emissions from this sporting event. Those emissions will have an impact around the world.”

As Berners-Lee said, “Zero-carbon neutrality is a tricky term. The offsetting scheme chosen by the World Cup does not remove carbon from the atmosphere, so it is a misleading term. It is very misleading to speak of zero-carbon neutrality for the World Cup”.

The open letter points out that FIFA’s environmental sustainability strategy contains flawed carbon calculations and questionable offsetting practices, as it places the responsibility on fans rather than the federation itself.

FIFA says that 51.7 percent of the 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 emitted at the World Cup in Qatar comes from travel, including flights for fans, and it has committed to reducing flight CO2 emissions for everyone Compensate ticket holders in addition to several other initiatives such as using electrically powered transportation for transportation between venues.

“FIFA fully recognizes that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time and believes it requires all of us to take immediate and sustained climate action,” it said in a statement.

“For the first time ever, FIFA and host country Qatar have committed to staging a completely zero-carbon World Cup. To reduce the emissions associated with the tournament, a comprehensive range of initiatives have been implemented, including the construction of energy-efficient stadiums, their designs , construction and operations are certified Green buildings, low-emission transportation and sustainable waste management practices.

“Any remaining emissions will be offset by investing in certified and internationally recognized carbon credits. This is done on a voluntary basis and is a game-changer in sport. More can be done and we will do more,” FIFA has committed to through the sport’s climate framework of the Convention: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its climate strategy aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.”

Open letter: “Infrastructure only for this event”

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Norwegian footballer Morton Thorsby

Norway soccer international Morten Thorsby, whose country did not qualify for the World Cup and who plays for Al Ittihad Berlin, one of the top division teams in Germany’s Bundesliga, is representative of a number of players and bodies questioning the validity of the claims of FIFA.

“This tournament is catastrophic in terms of its environmental footprint,” Thorsby said in an open letter.

“They built facilities just for this event, which is never a good thing.”

The letter calls on FIFA to end carbon neutrality claims and review its approach to “clean” tournaments ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July.

The letter’s signatories include Thorsby, who recently won the BBC Green Sports Award for his climate change awareness campaign, David Wheeler of England’s Wycome Wanderers and Forest Green Rovers of England, Ellen Landstrom of Swede and Zoe Morse of Chicago. American Red Stars.

The letter read: “Climate change is the enemy we must attack – and now we’re already working overtime. No matter what shirt we wear or what anthem we sing, there is much to be gained by acting decisively. But instead of taking it Golden opportunity FIFA have put themselves in a position where he will miss his best scoring opportunity.

“The tournament has been described as ‘the first FIFA World Cup to achieve zero carbon neutrality’, meaning its impact on the planet should be zero.”

Who disagrees with FIFA’s allegations?

Complaints have been filed in the UK, France, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands about FIFA advertising linked to the claim that the World Cup in Qatar is carbon neutral.

Objections center on these claims being false due to the underestimation of emissions and the lack of credibility of offsetting initiatives, which campaign participants say means consumers and fans are being misled.

The New Weather Institute filed the complaint in the UK. Similar complaints have been made by the climate alliance Klima Allianz Schweiz in Switzerland, Notre Affaire a Tous in France, Carbon Market Watch in Belgium and Fossil Free Football in the Netherlands.

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FIFA figures show that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil resulted in a carbon footprint of 2.72 million tons, while Russia’s carbon footprint in 2017 was 2.17 million tons.

What do we knowe For complaints about FIFA’s environmental sustainability?

Doubts have been cast over FIFA’s claim that the World Cup would not be carbon neutral earlier this year, and a Carbon Market Watch report found the claims contained “innovative calculations” and were “misleading”.

The letter also mentions that estimates of emissions from travel were “significantly underestimated” and that it was “impossible to predict” to call the tournament carbon neutral before it was held.

It also questions the efficiency of carbon emission reduction projects and how they are estimated.

“The claim that mega-events, be it the World Cup or some other sporting or music event, will achieve zero carbon neutrality is very misleading and makes the situation worse, not better,” adds Anderson.

“We are trying to keep sea temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius – and we are already close to that level. The remaining emissions are too small to assume that we can send people on flights around the world and wait for those who live elsewhere.” It’s up to the planet to change its behavior to offset those emissions, which means we still haven’t learned how to handle the situation differently.”

Anderson adds that the idea that “there’s always an easy way to solve the problem by spending a few pounds to offset emissions” is “quite dangerous” and “a sign of very bad behavior.”

“FIFA acted as they always do: let’s go to a great venue and get some carbon credits to cover it up. There is no innovation, no real thought, no leadership – FIFA has failed on every level.”

Can we offset carbon emissions in a responsible way?

Berners-Lee argues that FIFA “ugly” underestimated the size of their carbon footprint and that “claiming that you don’t have a carbon footprint isn’t going to work”.

“The World Cup is very important and it will certainly leave a carbon footprint. We have to keep that footprint as small as possible. That’s true [فيفا] He might want to take the World Cup around the world to show his support for all countries that support football, but Qatar is not one of them.

An example of this is that FIFA has taken on all these trips [الجوية] It will be one-way, which is a totally unreasonable assumption.

“The best thing you can do to offset emissions is implement projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere, like planting trees or restoring bogs with organic soil.

“FIFA’s claims that the next World Cup will be the greenest ever is absurd. The idea of ​​making the tournament green with cheap means of so-called carbon offsetting, which doesn’t address the damage caused by emissions at all, and that it no CO2 neutrality is achieved – is an idea completely illogical.”

What are “major environmental programs”? performed by Qatar?

A spokesman for the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said: “Ever since we won the tournament in 2010, environmental sustainability has been a hallmark of our planning and operations and is at the core of our vision for legacy. [البطولة].

“Our important environmental projects will leave a lasting legacy across the country. These include the 1,300-football-sized, 800-megawatt solar power plant and stadiums, which have set new standards for design and sustainability and have some of the highest green building certifications.

“The Tree and Botanical Garden has a total of 67,900 shrubs and 1,600 trees, most of which have been replanted around the stadiums and in other parts of the country. Many of these plants grow naturally in this area and are drought tolerant, reducing the need for irrigation reduced The irrigation system uses recycled water These trees The new trees will reduce CO2 emissions.

“Due to the crowded nature of this World Cup, domestic flights are not required and fans can travel to stadiums free of charge using the high-tech Doha Metro train network and 750 new electric buses.”


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