Doha: The FIFA World Cup 2022 has expedited the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030), Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC)'s Sustainability Director Eng. Bodour Al Meer said during a webinar titled ‘Carbon Neutral World Cup 2022'.
Al Meer noted that the World Cup is a catalyst for national development and a vital part of its sustainability strategy for 2022.
The webinar — organised by the US Chamber of Commerce’s US-Qatar Business Program in partnership with the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington DC —discussed climate change, Qatar 2022 sustainability infrastructure, and business opportunities for American firms as Qatar diversifies its economy.
Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Qatar, H E Ambassador Greta Holtz; Vice-President, Turkey, Middle East and North Africa Affairs in the International Division Khush Choksy; US Chamber of Commerce Vice-President, Middle East Affairs, Steve Lutes; and Global Market Director, Sports and Entertainment, Jacobs, Beau Waters attended the webinar.
“The World Cup is a tournament to crown the top men’s national football team, but in our case, it’s a lot more. We are using the tournament to expedite our development towards achieving our national vision (QNV 2030). We see this tournament as an opportunity to develop our country and showcase our local culture and traditions. With the WC in the Arab world for the first time, we see that it is an amazing opportunity to deliver a wonderful celebration of football, culture, and hospitality in a family-friendly environment,” Al Meer said.
According to her, sustainability strategies include environmental, social, human, economic, and governance. She stressed that the sustainability programme is derived from two key documents: the QNV 2030 — a blueprint for where the nation’s development is based and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The environmental pillar covers sustainable building, carbon-neutral, air quality, waste generation, and water. Al Meer said being a compact World Cup has helped limit carbon emission, and the stadiums are designed to reduce energy consumption to about 30-35%. Air quality stations would be installed at all stadiums, while the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (Al Rayyan) is made of 80% recycled construction waste.
“All of our stadiums have green building certification (design, construction management, and operations). The eight stadiums for the World Cup have amazing technology, and one is fully demountable, five are partially demountable, while all are green building certified,” she added.
Al Meer also highlighted Qatar’s first utility-scale solar plant. The energy from this plant in one month is enough to power all the world cup stadiums for one year. She also noted the ‘Plant Million Tree’ initiative, food sustainability programmes, growth in the recycling industry, and the climate action platform as a measure to promote a carbon neutral tournament in 2022.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Greta Holtz said the US, which contributes 15% of the world’s carbon pollution, is committed to reducing that number. She also praised the 2020 Public-Private Partnership law, which provides a platform for US firms to expand and deepen their partnership with Qatar.
The US recently rejoined the international climate accord, and former Secretary of State John Kerry has been appointed the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.