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How FIFA World Cup 2022™ can meet the carbon neutral commitments and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?: Reflections from the tree nursery project in Qatar

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Version 2 2023-03-19, 05:06
Version 1 2023-03-16, 06:24
journal contribution
revised on 2023-03-19, 05:03 and posted on 2023-03-19, 05:06 authored by Ioannis Spanos, Murat Kucukvar, Timothy C. Bell, Aza Elnimah, Hanin Hamdan, Bodour Al Meer, Shashi Prakash, Orjan Lundberg, Adeeb A. Kutty, Aya H. A. AlKhereibi

With sustainability at the heart of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup 2022™, Qatar has set a track to achieve carbon neutrality, committing to deliver the first-ever carbon neutral mega event in the world. Achieving these goals require offsetting carbon emissions through quality projects within and outside the state. Tree nurseries with stress-tolerant variants play a significant role in cutting the excess emissions from Qatar 2022, thereby supporting long-term sustainable development. This research presents a novel approach to offset carbon emissions utilizing the carbon sequestration potential of trees planted in a tree nursery project in Qatar. The i-Tree assessment tool and a well-established US database are used in this regard to undertake a correlation climatic condition analysis between Doha and five locations in the United States with similar demographics as the State of Qatar. The tree nursery data along with water consumption, fertilizer use, and power consumption, were fed as the inputs to the assessment tool. The assessments were carried out considering different irrigation methods for trees and shrubs, treated sewage water with a significant amount of organic fertilizer, and desalinated water. The analysis showed a net-carbon-emission reduction equal to 23.482 t CO2-eqv/year using the treated sewage water. The tree nursery project has a carbon reduction potential of 21.902% compared to the maximum carbon sequestration potential of 30.39 kg/CO2-eqv/tree/year, when using treated sewage water and a mix of the specific fertilizer. However, the use of desalinated water holds a negative impact on the carbon balance to such a level that the introduction of trees in Middle Eastern may not positively affect climate change mitigation. It was also found that the amount of carbon footprint reduction after the FIFA World Cup 2022 is expected to increase steadily during the average life expectancy of the trees assessed, which were evaluated to be circa 135 years. The results presented support urban planners in proposing integrated sustainability planning strategies and policies. These strategies can initiate projects such as nurseries, parks, and open space areas to reduce carbon footprints, improve the city's social and economic aspects, and preserve the post-event legacy of mega-sporting events like the World Cup and Olympic Sports.

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Published in: Sustainable Development
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  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University

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