Leadership / 11.30.22
What Is Outdoor Air Conditioning? And How Bad Is It for the Environment?
Time (11/29/22) Gunia, Amy
The World Cup's organizers are facing criticism from environmentalists for the outdoor air conditioning systems they have implemented to keep athletes and spectators cool in the open-air Qatari arenas. Some climate advocates say it sends a bad message during a global energy crisis, which may encourage dangerous habits amid rising heat levels. Temperatures at World Cup matches are expected to be about 68 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to technology that cools and distributes air through grills in the stands and via pitch-side nozzles. Outdoor air conditioning is considered even more harmful than indoor air conditioning, since outdoor areas are usually less insulated. "Even if it's an efficient system, it requires a tremendous amount of energy to cool the air, because it's open air, so it circulates with the outside air," said Khaled Diab with nonprofit advocacy group Carbon Market Watch. "So obviously it's less energy efficient than indoor air conditioning." Sustainability advocates and organizations have also charged the tournament's organizers with greenwashing by undercounting the carbon emissions the event generates, and relying on dubious carbon credits to offset its true environmental impact. "It is highly problematic that Qatar has built air conditioned open-air stadiums, but it's indicative of a broader problem in professional sports," Diab commented. "Professional sport has become very, very energy intensive and in many ways, very wasteful."
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Tags: Leadership , Climate Change