Swiss authority approves complaints accusing FIFA of greenwashing

Praising the carbon neutrality of the 2022 World Cup without being able to demonstrate it is “disloyal”estimates, Wednesday, June 7, the Swiss Commission for Loyalty (CSL), which ” recommended “ FIFA to abandon this type of ertion in the future.

The independent authority has “approved complaints” environmental ociations Notre affaires à tous (France), the Climate Alliance (Switzerland), Carbon Market Watch (Belgium), Fossil Free Football and Reclame Fossielvrij (Netherlands) as well as the think tank New Weather Institute (Great Britain) in a decision taken on Monday and communicated on Wednesday.

In practice, the CSL does not impose sanctions and does not impose corrections on the world football body, but its judgment is a snub for FIFA’s environmental communication, as well as a warning for that of major events. upcoming sports – Paris 2024 Olympics in the lead –, more and more scrutinized on this subject.

Because the Swiss authority does not examine in detail the environmental essment of the Qatari tournament (November 20-December 18, 2022), decried for years because of its holding in an arid micro-state lacking the required infrastructure, which has therefore had to build seven of the eight stadiums used and air-condition them.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers 2022 World Cup: for the environment, an event at a critical stage

“False and misleading impression”

In a much broader decision, the Swiss Loyalty Commission recalls that there is currently no “no generally accepted method” to estimate the carbon emissions of an event as well as to control their ” compensation “ by the organizers – for example by planting trees, the impact of which is scientifically discussed.

“Add to that the fact” that FIFA has not clarified enough “the future process planned to be able to achieve climate neutrality at a later date”giving “erroneous and fallacious impression” that the Qatari World Cup “would have already achieved climate neutrality or carbon neutrality before and during the tournament”continues the decision.

The Swiss authority judges that the football body should have “show transparently” that a possible complete compensation of the emissions of the tournament could not be carried out “that in the future, when concrete conditions ser[aie]nt met »bringing a ” evidence (…) believable” the means used to achieve this objective.

Contacted by Agence France-Presse, FIFA explains “analyze the reasons for this recommendation, which remains subject to appeal”and says to himself “fully aware that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time”Who “requires immediate and lasting climate action from all of us”.

“It is a very strong signal that is sent to the organizers of major international competitions”rejoices, for his part, Jérémie Suissa, general delegate of Our business to all, in a communicated of the French ociation. “It is no longer possible to design climatically absurd events while claiming to be carbon neutral. »

The complainant organizations, which had launched their joint offensive in November 2022 in their respective countries before the procedure was consolidated in Switzerland, now plan to seize “other jurisdictions”the statement said.

The World with AFP

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