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Carbon-neutral World Cup is a game-changer in sporting events, Gord official says

Qatar’s “voluntary environmental commitment” will set a new precedent both locally and internationally in terms of hosting future sporting events, an official with the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (Gord) has said.
“In FIFA history, Qatar 2022 will be the first carbon-neutral World Cup. With a sustainability advisory from Gord, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) has taken several steps to reduce tournament GHG emissions while using carbon offset services for unavoidable emissions.
“In Qatar, we are seeing increased interest from organizers approaching the Global Carbon Council (GCC) to explore the mechanisms behind the carbon neutrality of events,” said Gord Founding Chairman Dr. Yousef al-Horr, to the Gulf Times in an interview.
Dr al-Horr stressed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be a “first of its kind”, thus setting a global benchmark for the organization of future World Cups and other tournaments around the world.
He also pointed out that Qatar has exceeded FIFA’s expectations, not only through its commitment to carbon neutrality, but also by taking voluntary measures as part of its commitment to environmental conservation. .
Citing Al Janoub Stadium, Dr al-Horr said the facility recently received all three green building certifications under the Global Sustainability Rating System (GSAS). The facility is now the first stadium to have all three certifications: GSAS Design & Build, GSAS Construction Management and GSAS Operations.
“The adoption of GSAS Operations was an entirely voluntary decision that Qatar plans to pursue for all eight stadiums to ensure the sustainable operation of the facilities. Globally, such initiatives will inspire future host nations and create a lasting legacy. from the State of Qatar,” he said.
He said Gord was in the process of finalizing GSAS certifications for the eight stadiums that will host FIFA supporters in 2022. Audits for GSAS operations are currently underway to assess the impact on stadium sustainability in the phase post-occupation, he noted.
To ensure environmentally responsible development and operations of temporary sites and fan zones, Gord has also developed a unique EcoLeaf GSAS for camp and festival sites as a tourism sustainability certification. It is designed to improve the performance of purpose-built temporary facilities and reduce the negative impacts generated by their activity, Dr al-Horr explained.
In the context of carbon neutrality, Dr al-Horr said Gord, with the support of SC, created the Global Carbon Council (GCC) – the Mena region’s first voluntary carbon market catalyzing the financing of the climate change mitigation globally and in particular for the region, which has remained vastly underrepresented when it comes to the use of carbon market instruments to address climate change.
“GCC credits will be used to offset host country emissions related to the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, but the legacy will continue for years to come. Today, this GCC program is the only internationally accredited program CORSIA in the countries of the South.
“It is also accredited by ICROA and has over 260 registered GHG reduction projects across the world, including local and regional projects, with the hope that this number will grow to as many as 500 projects by the end of the year. end of 2022. Collectively, over 20 million carbon credits are expected to be issued by GCC by the end of the year,” Dr. al-Horr said.
In terms of research activities, he said Gord and SC were collaborating on Al Thumama’s ‘Showcase Stadium’, originally built as part of Qatar’s bid to prove that football can be played in the Middle. East despite the difficult terrain of the region.
Since Qatar’s winning bid for the tournament, the facility has transformed beyond a showcase space. Backed by the SC, the facility currently provides a platform for Gord’s pilot-scale research and development in anticipation of supporting one of the most enduring tournaments in FIFA history, said the Dr. al-Horr.
“Essentially, the showcase site reflects SC’s position on environmental sustainability, to which the host country has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment. As a breeding ground for future technologies, Al Thumama Showcase Stadium nurtures scientific research to develop innovations in the field of environmental sustainability,” he added.
According to Dr. al-Horr, Gord and SC are also collaborating to implement GSAS in all stages. In order to mitigate as much as possible the carbon footprint related to the development of World Cup venues, the SC has chosen, after FIFA’s approval, GSAS as the green building certification system for all stadiums.
“Through the adoption of GSAS, SC introduced a life cycle approach for the first time in FIFA history by implementing sustainability best practices across all stadiums throughout the life cycle. of the facility which included the design, construction and operation phases.
“In the same vein, SC has voluntarily implemented GSAS Construction Management certification for stadiums to ensure that all contractors follow sustainability best practices during construction. With the World Cup less than a year away, stadiums are pursuing GSAS Operations certification to ensure sustainable operation and management of venues in the post-construction phase,” added Dr al-Horr.