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SEI’s carbon market expert weighs in on FIFA’s World Cup carbon neutrality claims

Can carbon credits neutralize the emissions of seven new stadiums and millions of air-travelling football fans? That’s what FIFA claims for the 2022 World Cup. Deutsche Welle’s Planet A reports why FIFA may not be taken at its word. SEI’s Derik Broekhoff weighs in.

Published on 22 November 2022
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Lynsi Burton /

Video: DW Planet A / YouTube.

The International Association of Federation Football (FIFA) pledged back in 2010 to make the 2022 World Cup in Qatar carbon neutral.

With seven new air-conditioned stadiums built in a desert, and millions of people traveling by air, that appears a tall order. But FIFA documented its estimated carbon emissions and reported a series of carbon credits purchased from renewable energy projects to offset those emissions.

So does FIFA have it covered?

"The world would have been better off if you'd simply reduced your own #emissions." Can carbon credits make #FIFAWorldCup #CarbonNeutral? SEI's @DBroekhoff says it's better to look within than seek penance elsewhere.

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Deutsche Welle’s environmental YouTube channel Planet A published a seven-minute report digging into FIFA’s claims and how they compare to experts’ evaluations.

SEI Senior Scientist Derik Broekhoff commented specifically on the carbon credits, which in FIFA’s case are likely insufficient to compensate for its emissions, according to Planet A. And the renewable energy projects FIFA claims to have invested in may have happened regardless of the credit purchases.

“The world would have been better off if you’d simply reduced your own emissions,” Broekhoff said.


Derik Broekhoff

Senior Scientist



Topics and subtopics
Climate : Fossil fuels, Mitigation / Energy : Fossil fuels
Related centres
Asia , Qatar

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