China plans for greenest Olympic games

Posted: 18 November 2005

An agreement aimed a making the summer Olympics of 2008 environmentally-friendly was signed today by the UN nvironment Programme (UNEP) and the Beijing Organising Committee.

The agreement ranges from from air, water and noise pollution to transport, landscaping and the disposal of solid waste.

It also includes public awareness campaigns, through which UNEP hopes to leave a lasting legacy in China and beyond on the links between mass participation events and a healthy environment.

In exactly 993 days, the next Olympic Summer Games will open in Beijing. The Games are set to follow in the footsteps of earlier Olympics, including Torino 2006, in promoting and respecting a healthier environment.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director, said today at the signing ceremony: "Environment is one of the three pillars of sustainabledevelopment - development that respects people and the planet. Through sports and through the Olympic movement we can further this goal by holding games that minimize their environmental footprint and maximise the efficient use of resources".

"Beijing has committed itself to very high and ambitious environmental goals, ones which if achieved will percolate out into Chinese society and out into the world as a whole." He said that UNEP was ready to help China make this the 'greenest games'.

Winter games

The signing of the agreement comes only a week after the 6th World Conference on Sport and the Environment, co-hosted by UNEP and the International Olympic Committee (IOC),when delegates representing around 100 countries adopted a resolution on promoting sports and the environment into the 21st century.

The green plans for Beijing are part of a growing commitment by Olympic organizers to put sport at the forefront of environmental planning and awareness.

During last week's conference in Nairobi organizers of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Torino, unveiled their third Sustainability Report. The aim is to make the winter games carbon neutral alongside eco-labeling for hotels and measures to reduce the amounts of water needed to generate artificial snow.

Source: UNEP

Note: The environment has been declared the third pillar of Olympism by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), alongside sport and culture. The UN has declared 2005 as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education to promote education, health, development and peace.

Related link:

www.unep.org