Qatar Airways CEO defends 160 additional daily flights in ‘climate neutral’ World Cup

Qatar Airways announced on Thursday that it is partnering with regional carriers to ensure that World Cup ticket holders can fly to and from Doha from neighboring countries for one day only. Climate advocates say the decision goes against the tournament’s sustainability goals.

“Please don’t believe people who only say negative things. [things]Akbar Al Baker said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson on Monday, adding that he is confident the flights will be full.

“[We] they have aircraft with very low emissions compared to conventional aircraft most other airlines fly,” he said.

He did not elaborate on how the aircraft’s emissions would be lower than others, but the airline’s website says it operates “one of the youngest fleets in the sky” and has implemented 70 fuel optimization programs. Aviation is the main contributor to human-induced climate change. Qatar’s economy is based on oil and has one of the largest per capita carbon footprints in the world.

Before Thursday’s announcement, organizers estimated the tournament’s carbon footprint at more than 3.6 million metric tons CO2, more than half of which will come from traveling fans. Emissions from new daily flights from Dubai, Muscat, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait will add to the current estimate.

In response to questions from CNN, FIFA said its previous carbon footprint estimate was released in February 2021 and that the actual differences will be ironed out once the tournament is over.

Qatar said it offset emissions by “investing in green projects” – a common way for companies and people to offset the impact of their footprint. The organizers have established a “Global Carbon Council” tasked with “identifying quality projects”.

Climatologists, however, singled out limits on offset programs such as tree planting, arguing that they are abused and their impact is sometimes exaggerated to account for normal fossil fuel emissions.
The official emblem of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar unveiled on 3 September in Doha.
Overview of the carbon market published a report on Tuesday it said the World Cup’s carbon credits plan supported “low-green” projects, and only 130,000 of the promised 1.8 million credits had been disbursed so far. The World Championship should start at the end of November.

The Carbon Market Watch report also claims that FIFA’s estimated carbon emissions for the tournament have been grossly underestimated and criticizes the “choice of accounting approach”.

Commenting on the report, Qatar’s High Committee for Shipping and Heritage, which is responsible for the event, said it was “speculative and inaccurate” to draw conclusions about its commitment to carbon neutrality.

“The methodology used to calculate the carbon zero commitment is best practice and has been developed based on actual post-World Cup activity data,” the statement sent in response to questions from CNN said. “This will be published and any discrepancies will be explained and compensated for.”

World Cup 2022: Amnesty International calls on FIFA to allocate at least $440 million to compensate migrant workers in Qatar

FIFA also reacted to the report and defended its own accounting method, saying it was based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a widely used standard.

He added that he did not “mislead his stakeholders” and was “fully aware of the risks that mega-events pose to the economy, the environment, and people and communities.”

In a September press release, the event’s Qatari organizers said one of the benefits of hosting the World Cup was their country’s “compactness”. The short distance between stadiums will negate the need for domestic air travel for fans and reduce the carbon footprint of the tournament. It goes on to say that air travel is “recognized as one of the world’s largest contributors to carbon emissions.”

But fears are growing that the small country of less than 3 million people may not be able to handle that many fans. Arrivals and departures of spectators during the day will reduce the need for higher levels of accommodation.

Al Baker, however, said the plan was always to run extra flights to bring people in for just a day.

“His Highness the Emir has always wanted to share the benefits of this tournament with all of our neighbors,” he said.

“This is feasible because, first of all, we have good modern equipment. They process people very quickly. We have also put in place huge vehicles, including subways,” Al Baker said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.