Qatar Focuses on Improved Environmental Management
While other countries in the Gulf region face a host of struggles, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have emerged as the political, diplomatic, and economic leaders in the region. One way in which Qatar will set the pace of change in the Middle East is with its environmental policy. The 2022 World Cup no doubt is partly behind the government’s focus. Qatar’s environmental ministry will soon start on a new five-year plan for environmental management. The plan has four pillars: biodiversity, climate change, energy efficiency, and air quality. Much of the criticism over Qatar’s selection to host the World Cup is misguided; however, the arrival of hundreds of thousands of fans will put their own stress on this tiny country, so planning ahead will help mitigate the impact of all those future visitors. One organization that will take the lead is the Qatar Green Building Council, or QCBC. Conceived in 2008, has developed its own country’s green building accredited system based on standards including LEED and STAR. Green building is a relatively new challenge, and the QCBC and Qatar’s construction sector has got to meet the capacity: the tiny country has promised several new stadiums and will renovate the already ultra modern Khalifa International Stadium (pictured above left; click to expand). Another compelling stadium on the drawing board is the proposed Al-Shamal Stadium (pictured below), which will sport its own energy efficient features--and be disassembled after the event and shipped to developing countries. Should QCBC and construction firms establish a solid track record over the next few years, we will witness some amazing building technologies in 2022 that we currently we cannot even conceive. Ironically, one of the countries with a huge impact on climate volatility could be a laboratory for solving these long term problems.