Beijing Olympics a green model for Commonwealth Games: UNEP

August 8th, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 8 (IANS) Lessons learnt during the preparations for the Beijing Olympics that opens later Friday can help promote more green initiatives for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, says United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) executive director Achim Steiner. “The 2008 Olympic Games will leave a lasting legacy for the world,” Steiner said in a statement here. “Beijing’s efforts can quickly become a model for sustainable development for other cities in the developing world.”

UNEP has been working with the Beijing Olympic Committee for the last three years, advising organisers on various aspects of greening the games.

Over the last seven years, the Chinese government has spent $17 billion on a large-scale green drive ahead of the Games, including a series of long-term environmental improvements for the city.

As part of this, the city has introduced tougher standards for vehicle emissions and phased out ozone-depleting substances. The authorities have also expanded Beijing’s public transport network with three new subway lines and the introduction of some 3,800 compressed natural gas buses - one of the largest fleets in any city in the world.

The Olympic venues themselves also have many green features: 20 percent of their energy comes from clean wind sources, solar power features prominently in the Olympic Village, and the Bird’s Nest stadium has an advanced rainwater recycling system. Then there is the Solar Wall, which is 2,000 square metres of solar panels.

UNEP will produce a Post-Games Environmental Assessment Report to assess the successes and challenges of the environmental measures taken by the organisers of the Beijing Games, the statement said.

The report will be instrumental in helping UNEP give the organisers of the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games the best possible advice to reduce the environmental impact of the event.

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