The first climate-neutral soccer World Cup is scheduled to be held in Qatar this year. that caused CO2which was created, for example, by the construction of seven new stadiums, will be replaced by CO2– Compensation projects are compensated. As a result, the net impact of the mega-event on climate is zero.
Climate offsets are also important at the individual level. According to compensation platform Atmosfair, if you were to travel from Vienna to Doha, 1,884 kg of carbon dioxide would be produced2. You will have to pay 44 euros to compensate for this climate damage. With myclimate, which is another provider, it will only be 660kg CO2 for the same 4000km2 Or only 19 euros. A few clicks and the conscience is gone, that’s the impression. The difference between the two compensation platforms just goes to show that unfortunately it’s not that simple.
A market for the guilty conscience
The voluntary market for climate compensation is growing. According to Market Ecosystem, nearly 500 million such transactions, worth more than $2 billion, took place in 2021. This is more than five times more than in 2018. The principle behind it works as follows: World Cup organizers how much carbon dioxide2 because of the event. Qatar reported a total of 3.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide2 Because of the World Cup. The regulators then purchase certificates from climate protection projects for these emissions.
Theoretically, each certificate equates to one ton of carbon dioxide avoided or removed from the atmosphere. However, the term climate neutral is not protected by law. On average, the cost of one ton of carbon dioxide2 $3.50 at the Voluntary Carbon Market. It is usually cheaper to invest in offset projects than in carbon dioxide bailout measures2, the conclusion of several climate studies. $200 must be a ton of carbon dioxide2 The cost of compensation for the damage caused, explains climate scientist Daniel Hubmann of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
Even before the World Cup, there was criticism of greenwashing, and there are several reasons for that: “Stadiums that are built in the desert and can’t really be reused. The whole human rights situation. Shuttles from neighboring emirates for not having enough hotel rooms but also all the energy.” needed to cool the stadiums. And then covering that with individual compensation measures is, by my definition, obviously green bleaching,” says Hopman. The NGO Carbon Market Watch (CMW) did the CO2 calculation2 Emissions from stadium construction could be eight times higher than indicated and organizers have been warned with a yellow card.
To check the compensation, tournament organizers set up the Global Carbon Council (GCC). According to Bloomberg, Qatar took carbon credits from just three renewable energy projects in Turkey and Serbia, which together produce less than 350,000 tons of carbon dioxide.2Define equations. Carbon credits should only be issued if the project is not implemented anyway. According to the CMW, that’s exactly not the case with said offset projects.
Planting trees is not enough
Qatar itself has announced plans to plant 16,000 new trees. Trees not only ensure cleaner air and more moderate temperatures, but they also store carbon dioxide2. “But they only do it from a certain size. It takes at least 10 years, more than 20 years, for a tree to make an effective contribution to protecting the climate and improving air quality. The question is whether trees will survive that long in all, especially since The irrigation issue will be a big problem in Qatar.” According to the publication in the journal “Science”, well-planned reforestation projects are an important contribution to ensuring human well-being. However, such projects often failed because the trees were not maintained or the land was cleared again. Oxfam has calculated that currently planned carbon sequestration projects would occupy an area five times the size of India. This could lead to a significant increase in the demand for land and lead to mass displacement and hunger. It is mathematically impossible to grow enough trees to fulfill government and corporate promises. A carbon plan for NGOs revealed that $400 million worth of carbon offset projects were sold in California without emitting a single ton of carbon dioxide.2 it was absorbed.
One of the biggest problems with climate offset projects is the lack of transparency. Not only are consumers or companies fooled by the terminology, but it is difficult for them to judge whether or not it is a meaningful project due to the lack of information. “There has to be a system in which I, as a company or a private individual, can make sure that compensation meets certain minimum standards and that it checks whether projects are going to last in the long run. I think that’s almost impossible to solve, especially with projects,” says Hobman. Reforestation due to timescales is problematic.” If the greenhouse gases CO2 Once in the atmosphere it stays there for several hundred years.
If the 1.2 million expected World Cup spectators traveled from Vienna to Doha, that would result in 2.26 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide, based on Atmosphere.2. Offset projects have raised awareness of emissions, but according to experts, the main danger is carbon dioxide2 Reduce avoidance efforts. “There are some good projects, and there are many not so good projects, and I think it’s impossible to get an overview. I take a very critical view of the anonymity of the market, because it reduces the urgency to change our area,” explains Hopman.
The EU Commission now wants to rectify the situation. The European Circular Economy Package will be published at the end of November. As a result, companies are required to document their environmental efforts using standardized, well-defined standards. This should also avoid greenwashing.