Friday, 30 March 2012

London Olympics - The Greenest Games??

The Olympics are coming! Coaches are training Olympians worldwide to ensure they achieve the best possible result, whether it’s a podium finish or a personal goal. The Olympics is one of the only sport events that reaches all corners of the globe and a truly worldwide audience. This is a unique opportunity for many, and it’s also a time to address a global audience on important issues, and London is doing this in the realm of the Environment.

London is aiming to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of the Olympics to create positive change and it has set new standards for the future. London’s bid to host the Olympics incorporated environmentally friendly objectives, for example, it will use many pre-existing venues where possible and will only build permanent structures that can be used for many years to come, and where this is not possible, create ‘temporary structures’ that will only be used for a specific amount of time. All venues incorporate sustainability into their production, with the Olympic stadium being the front runner which is constructed using multiple techniques, using recycled materials and lighter material to reduce its carbon footprint.  Further, the London Olympics will bring significant environmental change to areas that were previously known as ‘brownfield sites’ meaning they were derelict or contaminated - and they are creating one of the biggest new parks in London.      

By highlighting 5 main interest areas London is trying to become the greenest games possible. In recognition of Climate Change London Olympics is positively minimising it’s greenhouse gas emissions, it will not send waste to landfills, encourage Biodiversity at Olympic venues, promote inclusion from people across London and the UK and healthy living, to encourage people to be more active and think more sustainably. The Olympics is on track to deliver the first sustainable games

However there’s still room for improvement. In the Olympic bid London explained they would be investing in a wind turbine to create 20% of the energy necessary for the games, however this was scrapped as it was a little too ambitious. 

Further, pollution in London will be a concern to many. Similar to the Beijing Olympics, there has been warnings about the unacceptably high levels of air pollution in London, and this can be especially so during the summer months. The effect of this is that athletes could suffer pulmonary irritation, decreased lung capacity and shortness of breath. London is the biggest city in the EU, and has previously been warned about its high levels of toxic gases. Whereas Beijing took the drastic measure of banning half of the cars in the city and shut down many industries, it will be unlikely that the Olympics organisation or government will take the same measures, and this could be to the detriment of the games. London will certainly be in the global spot light.
Odyssey 2050 intends to attend the London Olympics as it will be a great opportunity to engage young people from around the world in the environmental debate.

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