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Beijing Olympics 'Go Green'
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Beijing Olympics 'Go Green'

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When Beijing made its bid for the 2008 Olympics, its air quality was vying with Mexico City as the most polluted capital in the world.

Beijing ultimately won the bid over Toronto and Paris due to the extensive plans to make the 2008 Olympic Games green. Since winning the bid in 2001, Beijing has invested heavily in green construction materials and sustainable energy for the Olympic Village and made momentous efforts to clean the city’s notoriously dirty air and water. Beijing has also shut down or retrofitted 200 dirty industries in the city and made plans to keep 1.3 million cars off the roads for the entire two weeks of the Games.

To avoid being remembered as the “Smoglympics,” much of Beijing’s ten-year, $12 billion effort to green the 2008 Olympics has focused on initiatives under its "Blue Sky Program" that has required clean energy use in the Olympic village and has involved retrofitting or closing nearly 200 industries in the region; converting buses and taxis to cleaner fuels, and encouraging clean transport pilot projects. With 1,000 cars added to Beijing’s streets daily, clean transport initiatives have been a priority, which represents a potentially lasting impact on the city.

China is getting close to the Olympic bid goals of 80 percent of buses and 70 percent of taxis being fueled by clean (mainly clean natural gas) energy by 2008. There are also some other pilot projects around the Olympics that highlight other clean car technologies: 14 electric buses, 50 Lithium-ion battery powered buses, and a fuel cell project supported by the Global Environment Fund and the United Nations Development Program. To help lower personal car use and promote easier transportation around the city, Beijing will complete a total of four new light rail routes.

Clean energy has been prioritized for the Olympic Village so as to prevent it from being a major contributor to air pollution in Beijing. For example, 27 percent of the two million square meters of buildings used for the Olympics will be powered by clean energy, with the seven main stadiums being equipped with solar generators with a total capacity of 480 KW. Ninety percent of the lighting outside the stadiums and hot water supply in the Olympics Village will be powered by solar energy. Moreover, the main stadiums will also be supplied with Beijing’s first wind power plant (with a capacity of 50,000 KW).

About the Beijing Olympics ‘Green’ branding

The symbol, which was created using a calligraphic art form, is composed of human and tree-like shapes. The logo consists of the crown of a tree and the shape of a human being, which are used to create the form of a large tree reaching the sky. The image represents harmony and unity between human beings and nature. Just like swinging coloured strips that encircle and cross each other, the green lines form a luxuriant crown of a tree and recall flowers in full bloom, embodying the sustainable development of nature.











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