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Qatar cut emissions by 9,000 tonnes at World Cup 

A ceremony is held ahead of the World Cup football final between France and Argentina at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on Dec. 18, 2022. Kyodo via Reuters
Stadiums at the World Cup avoided the use of diesel generators to lower emissions

Qatar cut carbon emissions by approximately 9,000 tons by powering temporary facilities at FIFA World Cup stadiums and precincts directly from the national grid instead of using diesel generators. 

The move involved seven of the eight Qatar 2022 stadiums and was overseen by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), Fifa and Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), Qatar News Agency reported. 

Tournament organisers estimate the project saved more than five million litres of diesel.

SC director general Yasir Al Jamal said Qatar improved local air quality, reduced noise, minimised carbon emissions and eliminated the need to transport and store large amounts of fuel by reducing the need for on-site diesel generators. 

“We were able to achieve all of these benefits while providing a highly reliable source of power throughout the tournament,” he added.

The three entities reviewed test events such as the Fifa Club World Cup and Fifa Arab Cup, concluding that grid solutions were the most feasible option to reduce the reliance on diesel-powered generators. This led to the development of 44 substations at tournament venues to provide 49,000 kVA of installed electrical capacity. 

Initially 185 generators were deemed necessary to power stadiums and nearby facilities, but that number was cut to 70 thanks to the national grid project. Organisers found that 82 percent of the tournament’s power needs were delivered directly from the national grid.

Qatar had pledged to make the World Cup carbon neutral, a large part of which they said hinged on it being centred around the capital Doha, with fans flying into one airport and staying in one location, rather than being spread across numerous cities like previous tournaments.

A June 2021 report by the Qatari organisers and governing body Fifa, covering tournament-related activities from 2011 to 2023, said the World Cup was expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, with travel the largest contributor, accounting for 52 percent, due mainly to international flights.

That was produced before the shuttle services between Qatar and other Gulf states were last year.

Qatar hosted the World Cup from November 20 to December 18, 2022.