* On Earth Day 2021, Qatar highlights state-of-the-art systems that will provide numerous legacy benefits
Qatar will provide safe, reliable and accessible transportation solutions during the FIFA World Cup 2022. In addition, the country has implemented a host of sustainable projects that will reduce the environmental impact and provide numerous legacy benefits.
To mark Earth Day 2021, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has highlighted the projects that will help reduce the country’s carbon footprint and achieve its goal of staging the first carbon-neutral World Cup, sc.qa reports.
Along with hosting the first World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world, Qatar will stage the most compact edition of the tournament in modern history. Sixty-four matches over 28 days will take place in close proximity, with the maximum travel distance between stadiums just 75km. One of the major environmental benefits of Qatar 2022 is the elimination of domestic flights during the tournament.
“Using our environment-friendly transportation systems, such as the Doha Metro, light rail trams and fuel-efficient buses, will greatly reduce overall carbon emissions,” said Thani al-Zarraa, the SC’s Mobility director. “And due to Qatar 2022 being a compact tournament, fans arriving in 2022 will only have one return plane journey, which will significantly reduce overall carbon emissions [compared to previous tournaments].”
* Hamad International Airport
More than 1mn fans are expected to arrive at Hamad International Airport (HIA) during the World Cup. The airport is recognised as one of the most sustainable in the region after retaining its Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA).
The ACA is the only institutionally-endorsed, global carbon management certification programme for airports worldwide.
In addition, HIA recently joined the Tarsheed campaign, which led to increasing the air-conditioning temperature by 1C during the winter period – an initiative that reduced carbon emissions by approximately 1,000 tonnes.
Run by the Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa), Tarsheed promotes the efficient use of water and electricity in Qatar.
* Public transport
Mass public transport will help fans get around during the World Cup. The Doha Metro, in addition to tram and bus services, will help fans travel seamlessly between hotels, stadiums and tourist attractions. The Metro will be the transportation backbone of Qatar 2022. It directly connects the airport with five Qatar 2022 stadiums, with the remaining tournament venues reachable via a combination of metro and bus services. The Metro system is efficient, electric and utilises regenerative braking systems, which help reduce the carbon footprint. In addition, all the Metro stations are designed and operated under green building certification – ensuring their green credentials.
The Metro is supported by tram systems in the vicinity of two tournament venues: Lusail Stadium, which will host 10 matches during the tournament, including the final, and Education City Stadium, which will host matches up to the quarter-finals stage. These rapid transit systems support Qatar’s sustainability goals and ensure both Lusail and Education City are connected and accessible, while offering a transport option that reduces vehicle use and associated emissions.
* Fuel-efficient buses
A fleet of new buses is also boosting Qatar’s public transport infrastructure. About 20% of the buses are electric, with the remainder diesel-fuelled with a Euro 5 emissions standard, which emits much less pollution than regular vehicles. Qatar is also planning to introduce an innovative, modern and environment-friendly electric bus rapid transit (BRT) system. Designed to provide increased passenger capacity compared to traditional transit style buses, BRT is a rail-less system that is essentially a crossover between buses and trams.
In addition, the Lusail Bus Depot will become one of the biggest in the world, where electricity for bus charging will be generated by solar panels. The electric buses charged by solar energy will not emit any other emissions. After Qatar 2022, this fleet will replace the old buses, ensuring a legacy of modern and green buses.
* Electric cars, scooters and bicycles
Qatar is also stepping up its plans to encourage people to use electric cars. Kahramaa is planning to set up between 200 and 500 charging points for electric cars by 2022. They will be located at strategic locations, including malls, residential areas, stadiums, parks and government offices.
While people get used to electric cars, Qatar has also introduced a large fleet of electric scooters and bicycles that people can hire. These are available at a number of walking locations, including the Doha Corniche, and will allow fans to enjoy the mild weather conditions expected during the tournament.
Al-Zarraa said, “By developing a fully holistic network of environment-friendly transport systems featuring uninterrupted tracks for bicycles, electronic scooters and buses, we will also contribute to the legacy of this country, as future generations of residents and citizens make use of these systems long after the World Cup.
“Providing safe, efficient and clean transport solutions for all visitors to Qatar during the World Cup is of utmost importance to us. We are working in close co-ordination with our national partners to deliver a system that will be a joy for all to use.”
One of those national partners is Ashghal, Qatar’s public works and infrastructure agency, which was responsible for delivering the modern transportation design and construction. Ashghal used the latest technology and co-ordination – along with compliance with globally-recognised sustainability measures – to provide solutions for the 22nd host nation of the World Cup.
“The compact nature and clean transport solutions play a key role in delivering on our promise of a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup in 2022,” said the SC’s Sustainability director, Bodour al-Meer. “The green transportation plans will benefit the event and our nation for many years to come.”