Will the 2026 World Cup be eco-friendly?

by | Dec 10, 2022

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The World Cup is a global sporting tradition, with millions of fans tuning in or flying into the event from all over the world, but carbon-neutral changes for the protection of the planet still need to be improved.

In four years, the 2026 World Cup will be held across the USA, Canada and Mexico with the three neighbouring nations coming together as hosts. This will be the first time the World Cup will include 48 national teams qualifying, expanded from the usual 32. This raises questions on if this fits with FIFA’s net-zero pledge considering there will now be 80 games played. 

This not only increases the energy cost, but also carbon emissions. The USA will host 60 games of the tournament, whilst Canada and Mexico will host 10 each. This means that the cost of energy for the USA alone will come in at $200k with energy prices currently sitting at $0.128 per kWh, and that’s not including the 20 games in Canada and Mexico.

The energy experts at Hometree have crunched the numbers and determined the most sustainable, green, renewable and solar-powered countries, looking at how much renewable energy each country uses and how green their policies are. If a future World Cup was chosen based on these factors, these countries would be the most eco-friendly destinations to host.


Full Study: https://www.hometree.co.uk/articles/how-much-will-it-cost-to-power-the-world-cup-this-winter/<https://www.hometree.co.uk/articles/how-much-will-it-cost-to-power-the-world-cup-this-winter/


Denmark leads the way as the most environmentally-friendly location to have the World Cup, with an impressive score of 35.3 out of 40. The Scandinavian country known for its scenic, natural beauty also received a green score of 9.4/10, a 9.6/10 for its sustainability and 7/10 for its solar power. 


The country also received a respectable 9.3/10 for its renewable energy sources, with 78.05% of the electricity that comes from the country being renewable. 


Spain steals the spot of the second most sustainable country to host the next World Cup tournament with an environmentally-friendly score of 32.7 out of 40.


It’s no surprise that sunny Spain has a solar power score of 9.7/10, having the second-highest percentage of electricity that comes from solar power on the list at 9.85%. The country also has a green score of 8.1/10, a sustainability score of 7.9/10 and a renewable energy score of 7/10.


Switzerland climbs the ranks to third place for being one of the most eco-friendly destinations to host the 2026 World Cup with a score of 32.1 out of 40.

The picturesque country home to the high peaks of the Alps and a number of scenic lakes received full marks for its green score (10/10). A promising 63.83% of the electricity that comes from the country is renewable, giving Switzerland an 8.3/10 renewable energy score, alongside its sustainability score of 5.8/10 and solar power score of 8.0/10.

Key facts the study found for the 2022 Qatar World Cup:

*       $57,600 (£50,410) will be spent to power the Qatar stadiums throughout the 64 games

*       $50,227 (£43,958) will be spent to supply the stadiums with air-con.

*       $864k (£756.1k) will have to be forked out in energy costs for external tourism and hotel stays in Qatar during the World Cup

*       $869.7k (£761.2k) estimated energy costs for private apartments (as part of Qatar’s tourist accommodation)

*       The MSC Cruise Ships, which are also being used for extra accommodation <https://www.euronews.com/2022/08/25/world-cup-2022-qatar-what-accommodation-is-available-for-fans> , and additional transportation such as electric buses and a brand new 76km metro system all tally up to a jaw-dropping $2.3 million (£2 million) in energy

*       The construction of the World Cup, including building a new metro system, multiple stadiums and accommodation has also resulted in an output of 1.6 million T CO2 emissions. 

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