The Football World Cup in Qatar has just started and it’s already getting headlines for all the wrong reasons - including some rather extravagant claims about sustainability.
Specifically, it claims that it’s going to be a carbon neutral World Cup (i.e. that it makes no net contribution to climate change).
That’s a really BIG claim… And… it’s not true
The way they’ve calculated the emissions is not accurate. In fact, it’s pretty bloody far from being accurate.
Take stadiums for example; Qatar has built 7 new stadiums to host the world cup – SEVEN! Building things like stadiums - using cement and steel - is one of the single biggest contributors to climate change.
Qatar has only included a tiny fraction of these emissions in their calculations. One estimate puts the true amount of emissions from the construction of the stadiums at 1.6 megatonnes of carbon dioxide - compared to the 0.2 megatonnes that they’re claiming.
Qatar has said it is going to balance out all of the emissions – that it’s already massively underestimated - through carbon offsetting.
They would need to purchase 1.8 million carbon credits to do this... But so far, they’ve only purchased 145,000.
Also, the credits they’ve purchased are of seriously questionable quality. This means they almost certainly won’t have the impact that they’re claiming to have. In fact, they had to create their own body to certify the credits because nobody else would…
So, is the Qatar Football World Cup carbon neutral? No.