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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Is A ‘Green’ Olympics Even Possible?

Source: architectureoflife.net
A report launched on the eve of the London 2012 Olympics has somewhat deflated claims made by British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year that the 2012 London Olympics will be “the greenest held to date.”

The ‘Towards a One Planet Olympics Revisited’ report, published by WWF and British social enterprise BioRegional found that the Games would score well on some environmental indicators, such as public transport and ensuring the upkeep of local natural habitats and wildlife and concluded that London 2012 “has succeeded in being the most sustainable Games yet”, the authors criticised the event’s failure to meet its zero carbon, zero waste, renewable energy and air quality targets.

Sue Riddlestone, executive director of BioRegional, who was involved in drawing up the original Olympics strategy, said she was “especially disappointed about the failure to meet the renewable energy targets.”

David Stubbs, head of sustainability for the London Games, responded by pointing out that local conditions were often beyond organisers’ ability to influence and defended their efforts by telling the Guardian that “We have kept the spirit, and in most cases the letter, of what was promised, and we will leave a long-term legacy that is positive, environmentally.”

While Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, welcomed the report’s “elegantly expressed opinions”, his predecessor Meredith Alexander, who resigned earlier this year over the awarding of a £7m Olympic sponsorship deal to Dow Chemical, watched as police arrested campaigners at an event she organised in Trafalgar Square in central London last Friday.

The Greenwash Gold 2012 awards – involving three actors representing the three companies at the centre of the Olympic sponsorship controversy – were held in mock tribute to BP, Rio Tinto and Dow Chemical, with the campaigners having green custard poured over their heads while they accepted medals for their contributions to making London 2012 the “greenest Olympics ever.”

Blogpost by Neil Bradley

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