36 C
Doha
Saturday, September 18, 2021

Doha fares poorly in new international sustainability index

-

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

An inaugural index by Dutch firm Arcadis has ranked Qatar among the least sustainable countries in the world, though the Gulf state fared slighly better among its regional peers, coming in third.

The ARCADIS Sustainable Cities Index, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a British third-party analysis and forecasting firm, examined 50 cities from 31 countries.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

To arrive at the findings, the survey ranked cities on the basis of three sub-categories – people, planet and profit – which corresponded to three dimensions of sustainability (social, environmental and economic).

Doha was ranked 41st out of the 50 cities overall. For two of the categories, its scores were relatively average.

In terms of social sustainability, including measures such as transportation infrastructure, health, education, income equality and green spaces, it came in 34th.

And it ranked 30th in economic sustainability, based on factors such as public transportation, commuting time, ease of doing business, property and living costs, GDP per capita and energy efficiency.

Environmental woes

But what appears to have pulled down its ranking is the environmental category, where Qatar came in dead last, based on its energy consumption, renewable energy, recycling rates, greenhouse gas consumption, drinking water, pollution, and sanitation.

ARCADIS Sustainable Cities IndexAccording to the report, despite Qatar’s 2030 vision to cut its carbon dioxide emissions, improve energy efficiency, minimize water wastage and invest in renewable energy solutions and environmental science and technology, the country still has the highest per capita carbon footprint in the world.

Other Gulf cities in the region also fared poorly in the index, with Dubai ranking 33rd, Abu Dhabi 34th, and Jeddah and Riyadh coming in at 43rd and 44th, respectively.

Several European cities came in the top 10, including Frankfurt, London, and Copenhagen. Hong Kong was 8th, Paris 16th and New York 20th.

The survey also noted that the trade-off between planet and profit was most starkly seen in the Middle East, where Dubai and Doha scored much lower on environmental factors than on economic ones.

Meeting demand

Notably, cities in the MENA region have also seen the highest real-term population growth over the past five years, with Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi experiencing a rise of over 30 percent.

The increase has put considerable strain on Qatar’s local infrastructure, with the government instituting numerous projects to broaden roads, revamp its public transportation system and open new hospitals.

In an attempt to beef up its food security, Qatar has opened several farmer’s markets, a poultry farm, its first organic farm, and has heavily invested in food production companies.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Meanwhile, on the environmental front, Kahramaa announced plans in November to build Qatar’s first major solar power station in Duhail within two years, with a capacity of up to 15 MW of energy.

The station is expected to be one of many such upcoming projects, as Qatar aims to reach a national target of generating 200 MW of solar energy in the next five years.

The announcement came as Kahramaa noted a 12 percent increase in energy demand from September 2013 to 2014, and continued to project rising energy needs due to population growth.

The nation has also pledged to generate 2 percent of the country’s energy needs through renewable sources by 2020.

Kahramaa has since said that reducing the nation’s energy and water consumption would be one of its main priorities for a new five-year plan under its existing 2014-18 strategy.

Thoughts?

15 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

This is hardly surprising to anyone who knows anything about Qatar:

1) relies almost exclusively on foreign labor (unsustainable)
2) largest consumer of water per capita on the world (yet no groundwater)
3) Population in excess of 2 million but produces practically none of its own food
4) Even the sand (yes sand) cannot be used for concrete production and must be brought in
5) The whole place has to be air conditioned

But then the only way to make it sustainable would be to kick everyone out, start living in tents and basic buildings, walk or ride camels, and learn to like to eat a diet that is 99% fish and dates. And where is the fun in that?

The fact is that very few cities are sustainable. By there very nature they draw from their surroundings for food, fuel and manpower. Doha simply does this on a global, less usual way.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

If you looked at production of freshwater in a sustainability perspective – using solar or other renewables to produce it, one could factor that in to a reduced environmental footprint overall, there could be something to a calculus that accounts for not using freshwater sources but producing it. However, wasting freshwater after production is an entirely different thing all together. Proper infrastructure such as rail could drastically reduce the overall foot print as imported goods could be moved in a more efficient manner. The labor issues speak to themselves. It will be interesting to see what happens on that end of this measurement when the fervor in construction suddenly and sharply dissipates after 2022.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

And 50th out of 50 for environmental performance…

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Aim for the Stars……

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Definitely plenty of opportunity there…

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago

This is a woefully misleading statement “though the Gulf state fared far better among its regional peers”. Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi far outpaced Doha in the rankings, by 7-8 places, with the Saudi cities of Riyadh and Jeddah only edging in just behind. If by regional peers one only counts Saudi and then dismisses the others, then the statement would be accurate. No need to placate the locals on this, as everyone living here should be a bit concerned about the issues raised around energy consumption, pollution, and infrastructure. Doha is not alone in building things, and using it as a crutch to support increased waste, consumption, and pollution is the wrong tact. Many of the other global cities identified in this survey also have massive infrastructure projects and/or have millions of more people living within their boarders but yet manage to do far better. It seems that Doha is far from achieving its stated goals and vision for 2030.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Hadn’t noticed this before. Will change to ‘slightly better.’ Thanks for pointing this out!

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Racist jealous Dutch organization … Probably Jewish too …

facty
facty
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

sarcasm..good one.

nohardfeelings
nohardfeelings
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

شفيك صاير زااق هاليومين

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  nohardfeelings

اترفع عن الرد على أشكالك

Althani
Althani
6 years ago

I don’t think most Qatari are introduced to the concept of sustainability to be honest.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Althani

Agree… Or preventative maintenance .. I know that has nothing to do with the above article …

LiesDamnLiesAndStatistics
LiesDamnLiesAndStatistics
6 years ago

The environmental aspects of this study are amongst the most misleading I have ever seen. Whilst it is recognised that Doha residents are not overly sensitive to concepts such as recycling and fuel economy, the main driver of emissions in Qatar is the energy production, namely LNG. Around 8% of the embodies emissions in a unit of LNG are required to manufacture LNG, the resulting emissions thus taking place in Qatar. Of course, with Qatar producing fully one quarter of the world’s LNG, and a tiny population of 2million, it is little wonder that it has the highest per capita emissions in the world.

Of course, much of the LNG is burnt in the European countries listed at the top of the index, but they don’t have to account for the work done on their behalf by Qatar!! And further, this LNG is offsetting coal and nuclear (especially in Germany)!! But of course none of this is taken into account either.

So please, if these surveys are being carried out, have a look at what is really causing the emissions and who they are being emitted for.

And to the journalist who wrote the scathing and emotive article on the back of these misleading results, shame on you for your terrible (possibly non existent given the blind acceptance of the study) research on this topic.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

Ha, ha, ha. What do you think journalism is? The truth? Ha, ha, ha. It’s opinion-making, you fool. Go on, and pray for objectivity in journalism. Ha, ha, ha.

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Heartwarming act of kindness by mystery woman sparks joy online

0
One woman in Qatar's act of kindness has circulated on social media. Qatar's online community have praised an unidentified woman for a charitable act of...

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.