Qatar Pushes On With Green Transport Plans for the World Cup
As part of a drive to deliver the first carbon-neutral World Cup, Qatar will have a fleet of eco-friendly buses ready to hit the roads during the 2022 tournament. Up to 3,000 buses, compliant with global environmental protection specifications, will be ready by November 2022 to ferry fans, media and an entire workforce to and from the competition stadiums and in and around Doha. Of the buses serving the tournament, 25% will be electric.
Qatar's drive to deliver a carbon-neutral World Cup event is a shared vision between the host nation and FIFA.
FIFA believes that they and the hosts of the World Cup have a duty to society to protect the environment from any of the tournament's potentially negative impacts. By making the games sustainable, they hope to manage the environmental impact of the competition's preparations and delivery and leave a positive legacy for future generations.
Qatar is committed to delivering the games sustainably as part of their duty as World Cup hosts and as part of the country's wider plans for the future. Qatar has ambitious plans for the future of its nation. Growing and diversifying their economy and investing in their people is at the core of those plans, as is, no less importantly, protecting and sustaining a healthy environment. Qatar's bid for the World Cup outlined its commitment to embedding environmental sustainability into the preparations for and hosting of the World Cup in 2022. They pledged to incorporate environmentally sustainable design into the facilities and infrastructure built for the tournament, drive innovative solutions to help address critical environmental issues, and educate their citizens to be more environmentally aware. Qatar hopes to deliver an environmental legacy that will span generations with these undertakings.
Transportation is one area set to deliver formidable environmental savings for the 2022 event and the country in the ensuing years.
Qatar's compact nature has given the country a head start on its carbon-neutral World Cup campaign. With an area of just 11,571 km2, Qatar's size means that fans arriving in 2022 will take only one return plane journey, significantly reducing overall carbon emissions compared to previous tournaments. Once in the country, travel to and from stadiums and associated venues during the World Cup will also be comparatively minimal compared to past host nations. As such, the carbon footprint associated with travel during the World Cup will be naturally smaller. However, Qatar has committed to much more.
Since winning the World Cup bid:
- A Metro and light rail system has been constructed. The Doha Metro, a fully automated electric train system alongside the electrically operated light rail system, offers a sustainable, energy-efficient, low carbon transportation network compared to traditional methods of city travel.
- Country-wide road and highway upgrades have also been undertaken. The upgrade works are designed to free up inner-city roads, decrease traffic jams and travel times, increase accessibility nationwide, and ultimately reduce air pollution.
- Public transport services have been expanded and significantly improved. Electric taxis, cars, scooters, and buses offer environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional transport options. Electric transport can be charged at new charging stations in and around Doha and specific locations across the country. The electricity for those charging stations is generated via solar panels.
In particular, Qatar has invested in an entire fleet of new buses to augment the country's public transport infrastructure. The majority of the new buses have been delivered, with the final units expected before the end of 2022's first quarter. The new fleet will support the Doha Metro, especially during the World Cup. Buses will provide links between the Metro stations and stadiums and the rest of the city and beyond. The buses operating include 8-seater minibuses and 20 and 36-seater buses, allowing them to service different areas and locations as per the tournament and future local needs. Around 20% of the buses are electric, a number set to grow to 25% for the 2022 tournament. The rest of the fleet runs on diesel. However, it conforms to the 2009 Euro 5 emissions standard that requires vehicles to be fitted with particulate filters that capture 99% of all particles emitted during vehicle operation. Thus, Qatar's fleet emits much less pollution than regular vehicles. The switch to clean fuels provides another tick towards Qatar's carbon-neutral goal.
In terms of delivering its promise of a carbon-neutral World Cup in 2022, Qatar's green transport initiatives show that it is well on target. And while the benefits of such initiatives during the World Cup may only be witnessed as fast, efficient and modern transport options, the legacy of those options will extend far beyond the tournament. Locally, reduced traffic on the roads and the use of more environmentally friendly transport modes will see a reduction in congestion, travel times, energy consumption, costs, and pollution and its adverse health effects. On a broader scale, reductions in carbon emissions will reduce the direct and indirect impacts on local, regional and worldwide communities for generations to come.
Committed to hosting the world’s first carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup tournament, Qatar has been busy turning the country’s transport networks green.
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