Friday 22 April 2022, 06:45

Invest in our planet on World Earth Day

  • The 2022 Earth Day theme is 'Invest in our Planet'

  • In 2016, FIFA became the first international sports organisation to join the UNFCCC Climate Neutral Now campaign

  • In November 2021, FIFA committed during COP26 to net-zero emissions by 2040, also launching the FIFA Climate Strategy

Today is Earth Day. FIFA is very aware of its responsibility to preserve not only the beautiful game, but also our beautiful planet.

The change in weather patterns is impacting the environment and its rich biodiversity. It is affecting the lives of entire communities and even threatens the existence of low-altitude countries and entire island nations. Football is not immune to these significant changes and around the world, grassroots, recreational, amateur, and elite football are being affected.

This year’s Earth Day theme is: Invest in Our Planet. One group of people committed to supporting that mantra are FIFA’s sustainability volunteers in Qatar. Helping to make a positive difference in delivering sustainable, accessible, inclusive, and environmentally friendly sporting events.

Khalil Nasser, Sustainability Team Leader said: “Our team’s role at the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™ was to help deliver a sustainable tournament by ensuring the readiness of the facilities to fans, the proper implementation of recycling and waste management procedures, and to lead sustainability awareness campaigns during the games.”

On the importance of sustainability initiatives, Khalil said: “Sports tournaments have become cultural festivals where people from all over the world gather together. With proper planning, we can always deliver sustainable events that exceed audience expectations, without compromising our natural resources.” Asmaa Nageh who has been volunteering in Qatar since 2014 said: “It was an amazing experience to learn more about how to protect the environment by recycling correctly and helping others achieve this.”

FIFA Sustainability Volunteer Gabriel Wusu

Gabriel Wusu has been applying learnings from his volunteering role to his personal life: “I travel by the Metro, which is an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. I walk more to work, and I encourage or challenge my colleagues and clients to do the same.“

Following the election of Gianni Infantino as FIFA President in 2016, FIFA became the first international sports organisation to join the UNFCCC Climate Neutral Now campaign, pledging to measure, reduce and compensate the greenhouse gas emissions.

FIFA measured, took steps to reduce, and then offset, the unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions related to the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014™ and FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™ tournaments, and will do so for the upcoming edition in Qatar later this year. Indeed, FIFA and Qatar have pledged to deliver a fully carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup tournament in 2022 and aim to set a benchmark for environmental stewardship in the region.

In November 2021, FIFA committed during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to net-zero emissions by 2040, also launching the FIFA Climate Strategy, which includes concrete initiatives to:

● educate the global football workforce on climate-related impacts and climate-friendly solutions; ● adapt football regulations and activities to be more resilient to current and anticipated impacts of climate change; ● reduce the carbon emissions of FIFA and football to contribute to the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework objectives; and ● invest in climate protection and support football stakeholders with access to know-how to tackle the impacts of climate change.

More recently, on 1 April this year, FIFA and the Pacific Islands Forum signed a memorandum of understanding committing to working together to enhance awareness of climate change mitigation action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and leverage opportunities for climate-resilient football development in the Blue Pacific region.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Volunteer Programme – How to get involved?

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Volunteer Programme welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds, from around the world. More than 20,000 volunteers will be selected and trained to be at the heart of the tournament’s operations supporting 45 functional areas, performing over 30 different roles in official and non-official sites.

It is not necessary to have previous volunteering experience, but candidates must be 18 years or older by 1 October this year, speak English and be available to commit to a minimum of 10 days during the tournament, from 21 November to 18 December, though some volunteer’s roles will start from 1 October.

To join the Volunteer Programme, register HERE, select FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and complete the application form to start your volunteer journey.