Many experts are raised doubts and questions about Qatar’s claims of the 2022 FIFA World Cup being ‘carbon-neutral’ on Monday. Some practices before and during the World Cup were also questioned and some numbers were marked as underestimations.

Qatar has promised in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup that it would be carbon-neutral, claiming that their sporting event will be different from others due to the negligible amount of pollution that they will emit. Climate experts and researchers around the world are questioning the veracity of the claims, however, and are warning against using the term ‘carbon-neutral’ to describe the event, according to the AP News.

“It’s not very helpful for this type of event to market itself as carbon-neutral,” researcher Gilles Dufrasne from the Carbon Market Watch said. “It gives the impression that we can build massive state-of-the-art stadiums ... and fly people from all over the world to watch football matches and that’s somehow compatible with reaching climate targets.”

A report on greenhouse gas emissions for the 2022 World Cup released by FIFA that laid out what they believed to be the amount of emissions they would have was also criticized for being on the conservative side, reportedly underreporting the stadiums’ construction and not including infrastructure that wouldn’t have been built without the World Cup, Le Monde reported.

The Qatari government, in collaboration with FIFA, was also reported to be buying 3.63 million carbon credits as a way of offsetting the emissions to be made by the event. However, only three projects adding up to a total of 176,918 carbon credits have been approved since Qatar was chosen for the World Cup, far from the millions needed to offset the problem.

“They’re relying on arguably some of the lowest quality credits that exist today,” energy economist Danny Cullenward said. “It’s not clear that the strategy of carbon offsetting is actually meaningful.”

Despite this, Qatar has continued to tout its event’s carbon-neutral status as credible, and have pointed to the country’s green purchases, which include 800 electric buses and 16,000 trees, as contributors to the green energy in the country.

“No other country has engaged so deeply with its citizens to ensure a sustainable legacy is left behind after a FIFA World Cup,” a spokesperson for Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said.

World Cup Qatar Carbon-Neutral Rep. Pic
Image. Photo credit: History Of Soccer/

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