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$15.7 billion for a Green Olympics
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16:06, August 11, 2008

China Economic Weekly reported that the international environmental protection organization of Greenpeace issued an evaluation report on Beijing Olympic environment—"Surpass Beijing, Surpass 2008." This report not only affirms the environmental achievements made in preparation for the Beijing Olympics, but also hopes the constant publishing and carrying out of environmental policies for Beijing after Olympics, the adopting experiences of other Chinese cities and framing father policies for IOC, will improve.

Sport is closely connected with the environment. Since the Lillehammer Winter Games in Norway in 1994, environmental protection articles had been added to the Olympic Charter; and the bidding cities started proposing the idea a "Green Olympics." From then on, a green Olympics has been given greater attention; and the environment and sustainable development became primary issues during bidding and hosting.

The idea of a "Green Olympics" pushed Beijing to carry out short-term environment protection programs and the long-term construction of infrastructure. Beijing had reportedly planned to create a green Olympics and action with 101 billion RMB in special funds for environmental protection. However, the practical cost from 1998 to 2007 came to 120 billion RMB (approximately $15.7 billion).

The program director of Greenpeace indicated in an interview that 120 billion RMB is not very much, as most of it had been put into improving infrastructure, and introducing and promoting new technology which can bring long-term profits. He said: "If we do not invest now, however, it will cost much more for us to improve environmental protection in the future."

Greenpeace also stated in the report that different Olympic host cities are in different stages of development and face different environmental challenges. Therefore, we can not compare the same scores achieved in Beijing with other much more developed cities in the same situation. But, the efforts and funds that Beijing has invested into the "Green Olympics" are much higher than those cities in developed countries including Sydney and Athens, which have rich experience in environmental protection.

By People's Daily Online

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