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Greening the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. CHEM 20204 Marty Beres & Charley Spear. Green Olympics. Pledged to the Int’l Olympic Committee to achieve WHO standards for urban air quality in time for 2008 Olympic Games

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greening the 2008 beijing olympic games

Greening the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

CHEM 20204

Marty Beres & Charley Spear

green olympics
Green Olympics
  • Pledged to the Int’l Olympic Committee to achieve WHO standards for urban air quality in time for 2008 Olympic Games
  • Beijing Organizing Committee of Olympic Games (BOCOG) adopted a three-tiered goal
    • 1) Host a “Green Olympics”
    • 2) Conduct a “High-tech Olympics”
    • 3) Create a “People’s Olympics”
  • By achieving these goals, Beijing and China hope to strengthen public awareness of environmental protection
    • While at the same time promoting the application of new technologies
green olympics1
Green Olympics
  • BOCOG is committed to a Zero Net Emissions Games, where it hopes to minimize emissions of air pollution associated with hosting
    • Additionally, BOCOG will obtain offsetting emissions reductions in SO2 and CO2
  • Beijing’s strategy for cleaning the air mainly depends on the reductions in the use of coal, and enforcing tougher fuel quality and emissions standards
environmental concerns
Environmental Concerns
  • Air pollution (specifically smog)
    • Major polluting industries in Beijing
    • Coal remains a key energy fuel in China
    • Particulate matter (PM10) in Beijing greatly exceeds World Health Organization Air Quality Guidelines
    • Smog results from a mixture of heavy coal burning, smoke, and sulfur dioxide
  • City’s geographical location worsens the pollution problem
    • Mountain ranges that surround Beijing and block air circulation; prevent dispersion of air pollutants
    • High number of dust storms endured per year (approximately 70/yr)
environmental concerns1
Environmental Concerns
  • Currently, air pollution is at least 2-3 times higher than the WHO deems safe
  • Potential effects on Olympic athletes
    • Air pollution coupled with heat and humidity will make it very hard for athletes to compete
      • Especially for those that partake in outdoor endurance events
    • Unlikely to see many outstanding performances or record breaking times in endurance sports
  • Many competing countries are sending their athletes over as late as possible to limit exposure to air pollution
    • Japan and S. Korea have set up offshore training camps and villages to house their athletes during the games
public transportation
Public Transportation
  • Under-utilization of city’s public transpo. network
  • Public ground transpo. capacity is 19 million passengers per day, but only 8.5 million ride daily
    • Offering free rides on public transpo. for spectators holding tickets
    • Recently installed Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) lines allow 100,000 people per day to ride
  • Older vehicles have been scrapped in favor of new ones powered by compressed natural gas
public transportation1
Public Transportation
  • Chinese gov’t also expanding surface and underground rail lines
    • Eight newly constructed lines will have the capacity of approximately 4 million people/day
  • Gas-powered small vehicles still pose a problem considering wide availability of cleaner fuel options
    • Talk of a proposal that would only allow vehicles w/ certain license plate digits to be driven on specific days
    • Promote riding bikes to and from places
  • A total of 3,060 gas-powered cars will be deployed which will meet modern emissions standards such as the Euro III Standard
green friendly materials ozone depleting chemicals
Green Friendly Materials & Ozone-Depleting Chemicals
  • Olympic organizers are avoiding use of chemicals that damage the ozone layer such as carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform
    • Ozone-damaging substances used in refrigeration units and air conditioning are prohibited to use
  • Coca Cola & McDonald’s are helping to promote an ozone-friendly Olympics
    • Supplying over 4,000 bottle coolers that use natural refrigerants
  • Beijing officials are planting ‘seed clouds’ to induce rainfall by shooting up silver iodate pellets
    • This should provide assistance in removing pollution from the air
solar power
Solar Power
  • Solar photovoltaics are being used as a source of energy
    • Convert sunlight into electricity to power street light lamps and to heat Olympic swimming pools
    • The National Stadium is being lit by a 130 KW photovoltaic system
  • Another energy saving technology is the use of translucent membranes in the ceilings and walls of the Nat’l Aquatics Centre
    • Will allow for natural sunlight to fill the stadium
help from the u s
Help from the U.S.
  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with Chinese gov’t to help reach their environmental goals
  • Official agreement b/w the DOE and Beijing called the “Green Olympics Protocol”
    • Established the first U.S.-China Joint Working Group to address 10 specific areas to improve upon
      • Includes natural-gas technology, hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicle demonstration, and urban transportation
other ways to help green the olympics
Other ways to help ‘green’ the Olympics
  • Promoting a ‘hydrogen park’ in the Olympic village which will demonstrate hydrogen technology by operating five buses using Hythane technology (mix of hydrogen and natural gas)
  • General Motors has also agreed to donate zero-emissions electric buses in time for the Games
  • Encouraging 120,000 families to use natural gas
  • Local Beijing districts are taking part in tree-planting projects to place over 200 evergreens locally around the Olympic Village