UNEP Report Assesses Greenness of Beijing Olympics
18 February 2009: The findings of a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) study titled “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: Final Environmental Assessment” were presented in Nairobi, Kenya, at the 25th Session of the UNEP Governing Council, which is convening from 16-20 February 2009.
The assessment, conducted by independently appointed assessors, finds that the Beijing Olympics met or exceeded many of its environmental goals. Among the achievements highlighted in the assessment are: the increase in blue sky days from less than 180 days in 2000 to 274 days in 2008, and an increase in public awareness of air quality in Beijing; a significant increase in green space in Beijing; and tighter vehicle emission standards, which were the equivalent of Euro IV emissions standards for cars. The assessment recommends, inter alia, that there is a need to: agree on a harmonized standard to measure carbon neutrality in sport; fully engage with non-governmental organizations; and institute mandatory guidelines for Olympic suppliers on materials. [UNEP Press Release]