Prefect Piece: Charlie H

Prep School
18 Nov 22

Charlie H (Year 6) talks in his prefect piece below about the controversies of the Qatar World Cup in regards to being carbon-neutral and discrimination.

I know there is a lot of people that will be tuning in to watch the world cup, but they may not know that FIFA has announced that the Qatar football world cup is going to be the first carbon neutral world cup. This is very relevant as COP27 has just taken place in Egypt. Some people are speculating that it is a fake fact, but FIFA officials are adamant that it is true. If it is, then it will be a major step towards solving climate change.

Let us look at the statistics:

  • Qatar has built seven stadiums, a new metro system, highways, and a futuristic city in preparation for the FIFA 2022 World Cup tournament.
  • In an official report estimating the event’s emissions, Qatari organizers and FIFA projected that the World Cup will produce some 3.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from activities related to the tournament between 2011 and 2023. That is about 3% of Qatar’s total emissions in 2019 of roughly 115 million metric tons, according to World Bank data.
  • Qatar moved the tournament to the winter to protect players and spectators from extreme heat. However, during the tournament organisers will air condition seven stadiums that are open to the sky, which uses energy.
  • For water, it will mostly rely on energy-guzzling desalination plants that take ocean water and make it drinkable.
  • 52% of the tournaments emissions will come from travel, especially planes transporting fans and players to the tournament.
  • The amount of gas that is going to be turned into co2 from the planes transporting fans to Qatar.

To counter all these energy guzzling activities, Qatar has done the following:

  • They have a fleet of electric taxis to help move people between venues, but will that really be enough for the almost a million fans going plus what about fans doing stuff to entertain themselves between games?
  • Qatari organizers have pledged to buy 1.8 million carbon offsets from the Global Carbon Council, a Doha-based carbon credit registry where renewable projects are verified and listed. One carbon credit is equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide avoided or removed from the atmosphere. These include wind and hydropower energy projects in Turkey and Serbia.
  • The organisers have planted 16,000 trees and nearly 700,000 nursery-grown shrubs to help absorb carbon dioxide.
  • Qatar has built a new 800-megawatt solar power plant.

Even if Qatar and the FIFA do not manage to keep the tournament carbon neutral, I still think that their efforts should be recognised and used to inspire other big tournaments going forward. On the other side of things, Qatar has horrible human rights and the choice to give this opportunity to Qatar by FIFA is controversial. Some say that all people are allowed to attend, though some people may get discriminated by civilians for being LGBT. A LGBT comedian from Britain has asked David Beckham to turn down the £10 million pounds he was offered by FIFA and stand up for LGBT people.

Either way, I think people will be talking about this World Cup for a long time to come – maybe even with an England Win!