OneLove Arm Band

November 2022

People have been talking more about this than the football and I find it puzzling.

There have been complaints about the late notice regarding the beer in stadia. Why do we think that we should be allowed to drink alcohol when it is against the religion of the home nation? I am not sure whether this represents good publicity for Budweiser or not.

Now, we are looking to score points against the Qatari regime on their dealings with the LGBT community and human rights in general. People are now up in arms that this was not allowed. 

Why do we think we can force feed our culture – taking liberties with the word – to people who do not share those beliefs? I guess it could be worse, we might be trying to convince them that democracy works. 

We need to examine our own record on various issues.

  • Why do so few of our top male athletes/footballers come out as gay in this country? Why is it still taboo?
  • Have we forgotten the racist abuse of the brave young men who stepped up to take penalties at the European Championships?
  • Why do we still have racism in this country? Some is still quite explicit, but more often than not, it manifests itself in unconscious bias.
  • Why do we still have gender inequality? In pay, career opportunities, career expectations?

Whilst our record may not involve the extreme and public consequences as we know happen in Qatar, perhaps the lower levels that we practice in our country are possibly more damaging. Mental health, resentment, grievance. All festering over time. 

Of course, it comes back to money. Qatar has a lot of money that it is willing to spend on sporting events and assets that it is hoping will improve its image on the world stage. The fact that FIFA has awarded Qatar with this world cup tournament is all down to the willingness of Qatar to spend an eye-watering amount of money. Hopefully, the application of trickle-down economics may see some of this money going into the development of grass roots football around the world. 

It will be intriguing to see what legacy is generated from this tournament. Eight stadia have been built. Not sure what they will do with all those fine facilities considering the total population of Qatar is around 600,000 Qataris.

Stadium 974, a 40,000-seat stadium is constructed from repurposed shipping containers and modular steel, has been completed in Doha. stadium that will be taken apart and put back together somewhere else for the World Cup. The Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, will be the first entirely demountable stadium in World Cup history.

Qatar is the fourth richest country in the world due to its oil and gas production and reserves The country needs to build a new resilience model for the future, one based on a knowledge-based economy and industry decarbonization. Safeguarding Qatar’s resilience lies in investing sustainably, building cohesive governance frameworks, and empowering women. 

Long before the adoption of the Social,Development Goals (SDGs) and the pandemic outbreak, Qatar had identified climate sustainability as a critical focus of its growth strategy. The national strategy documents evidence the country’s commitment to climate change; both Qatar National Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy 1 and 2 emphasize the importance of environmental protection and combating climate change by improving preparedness, building resilience, and enhancing the society adaptation. Qatar further reaffirmed its commitment of combating climate change through the publication of The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) in 2021, developed in coordination with more than 50 entities within the country. Through consolidated efforts manifested in different institutions, the introduction of new rules and regulations, and green projects, Qatar continues to gather momentum towards ESG-investing to accelerate and support efforts directed at reducing and adapting to the harmful effects of climate change.

There is great hope for the future of Qatar.

In 2021, the Qatar Stock Exchange launched its first environmental, social and governance (ESG)-tradable index and announced plans to mandate ESG disclosures for publicly-listed firms. This move reflects a broader global shift towards long-term value creation in the country.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), co-founded the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Funds initiative, working with other sovereign wealth funds and large asset managers, to examine how climate-related risks and opportunities are assessed. This initiative has grown from six to 43 members, which now account for more than $36 trillion in assets under management.

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFCi is steering Qatar’s transformation into a global financial and commercial hub. QFC’s firms are at the forefront of the ESG revolution, with 1,300 firms in QFC are currently tackling ESG challenges from the energy transition to governance.

In financial services, there is an increasing the representation of women in the workforce, which is integral to good governance. According to 2019 data, 13.5% of senior level positions in QFC companies were filled by women – compared to 8.5% in Qatar’s financial sector as a whole.

Qatar has a compelling national interest in championing and promoting faster and ambitious domestic, regional, and global action against climate change. ESG-based investments in the country carry a golden opportunity in terms of financial returns and contributions to sustainability and climate-related objectives.