UNEP Reports Plans For ‘Green’ Winter Olympics '06
UN ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY REPORTS PLANS FOR ‘GREEN’ WINTER OLYMPICS NEXT YEAR
New York, Nov 9 2005 11:00AM
As part of its efforts to encourage eco-friendly sporting events, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today reported a raft of measures to cut greenhouse emissions and water usage at next year’s winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, as well as an upcoming agreement for the 2008 summer games in Beijing.
“UNEP is delighted to be associated with both Torino and Beijing as part of our increasingly constructive relationship with the IOC and sporting bodies generally,” UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said, referring to the International Olympic Committee and his agency’s agreements with the national organizing committees.
“I am sure the measures they are both undertaking will make the upcoming Winter and Summer Games a crucial guide for environmentally-friendly mass spectator events everywhere over the coming years,” he added at an international sports conference co-hosted in Nairobi, Kenya, by UNEP and IOC, at which the Torino Olympic Organizing Committee (TOROC) unveiled its new Sustainability Report.
One of the cornerstones is the Heritage Climate TORino (HECTOR) project designed to make the Winter Games carbon neutral. The organizers calculate that the 10 to 26 February Games will generate the equivalent of just over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide with the main sources coming from transport and the operation of the venues.
Under HECTOR these emissions will be offset via forestry, energy efficiency and renewable energy schemes both at home and abroad in line with the international climate change treaty, such as by financing renewable energy and sustainable energy projects.
Other measures include water-saving in snow-making machines and other steps to reduce the scale of construction and thus minimize the impact on the landscape, as well as a waste materials plan to handle the anticipated increases in rubbish and the use of pollution-free materials in eco-friendly buildings at the Olympic Village.
As for the 2008 Summer Games, UNEP announced today that it would sign an agreement on 18 November with the Beijing Organizing Committee to help with its ambitious proposals in areas ranging from air, water and noise pollution to transport, landscaping and the disposal of solid wastes.
UNEP will also help with public awareness campaigns which it is hoped will leave a lasting legacy among citizens in Beijing and China generally on the importance of the environment for long-lasting and enduring development.
The agency signed similar agreements for the 2004 Athens Olympics as well as for next year’s football World Cup in Germany.