Qatar World Cup green pledge slammed by 500 daily flights

Fans flying in from nearby Dubai and other cities for games is putting the carbon-neutral pledge in doubt, researchers claim

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Before the tournament kicked off, Qatar had committed to making this year’s World Cup carbon-neutral – but the number of flights bringing fans to the country has raised eyebrows.

There are reportedly 500 flights per day arriving in Doha from around the world.

In addition to this, many fans are staying in the nearby United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to a lack of accommodation and then flying from Dubai to Doha just to watch the games.

Greenly has estimated the number of incoming flights, with 120 of the 500 coming from the UAE capital city.

Its research has found that between 6,000 and 8,000 tonnes of carbon emissions are produced by transporting fans into Doha each day.

Shuttle flights from nearby cities and nations will be counted by Qatar when it quantifies the carbon footprint of the World Cup, the country has stated.

The Organising Committee’s spokesperson stated: “Direct flights are significantly more carbon effective than flights with stopovers. At the same time, because of the compact nature of the tournament, domestic flights will not be taken by fans.”

Greenly CEO Alexis Normand said: “It’s a fantasy to consider that this World Cup is carbon-neutral.”

He claims that the Middle Eastern country is relying too heavily on carbon credits to offset the environmental impact of the tournament.

Khaled Diab from Carbon Market Watch added: “If [the organisers] wanted, they could have looked for other solutions, like driving from neighbouring countries.”