SCIO press conference on progress of green Olympics and sustainability for Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

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Li Sen, director general of the General Planning Department of the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG)

Yan Jiarong, spokesperson of the BOCOG

Liu Yumin, director general of the Planning and Construction Department of the BOCOG

Yu Bo, chief of Yanqing District of Beijing Municipality

Liu Haifeng, deputy mayor of the Zhangjiakou Municipal People's Government, Hebei province, and deputy director of the Zhangjiakou Municipal Office for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games


Chen Wenjun, director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


Jan. 13, 2022

Chen Wenjun:

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to today's press conference. The Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are in place and will kick off in three weeks. Everyone is very concerned about how the green Olympics initiative has been implemented throughout the preparation process and what a green Olympics will look like. Today, we have invited relevant officials to attend the press conference to introduce the situation and take your questions. They are Mr. Li Sen, director general of the General Planning Department of the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG); Ms. Yan Jiarong, spokesperson of the BOCOG; Mr. Liu Yumin, director general of the Planning and Construction Department of the BOCOG; Mr. Yu Bo, chief of Yanqing District of Beijing Municipality; and Mr. Liu Haifeng, deputy mayor of the Zhangjiakou Municipal People's Government, Hebei province, and deputy director of the Zhangjiakou Municipal Office for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Next, I would like to ask Mr. Li Sen to introduce the topic.

Li Sen:

Good morning, friends from the media. It is my great pleasure to introduce to you how China is delivering on its application promise of hosting a green Olympics. Here, I would also like to express my gratitude to our media friends for their attention and support to the preparations and sustainability of the Beijing Winter Olympics!

Now, everything is in place for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. The venues and infrastructure have all met the requirements for hosting the competition, the venue-based operational model has been fully implemented, the service guarantees for the competition have been in place, and efforts of publicity have been boosted. In particular, a series of international test competitions have been successfully held, proving that the preparations are adequate. On Jan. 4, General Secretary Xi Jinping visited the Beijing competition zone to inspect the preparations, cordially encouraged the front-line personnel working at the venues, and gave important instructions for the preparation of the Olympics. His visit boosted our morale. As a result, we have strengthened our confidence and determination to hold the competition on schedule, safely, and successfully. We will go all out in the final stage according to the requirements of the general secretary to ensure a simple, safe and splendid 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Sustainable development is China's national strategy and one of the three pillars of the Olympic Agenda 2020. Since preparing for the 2022 Winter Games, the BOCOG has stayed committed to hosting the Games in a green, sharing, open and clean manner. The BOCOG, the Beijing Municipal Government, the Hebei Provincial Government, and related parties have jointly formulated the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Sustainability Plan and proposed the vision of sustainability for the future and established the objective of creating a new example for staging events and regional sustainability. A working framework, including 12 actions, 37 tasks, and 119 specific measures, is constructed from three aspects: positive environmental impact, a new development for the region, and a better life for the people.

Over the past six years in preparing for the Games, we have worked hard to implement the green Olympics initiative in the whole process of preparations. We have closely integrated the preparations of the Games with the development of cities and regions, promoting the improvement of the regional ecological environment, economic development, and social progress and producing results of sustainability. I can summarize our work into the following five aspects:

First, we have established a sustainable management system. The preparation of the Winter Olympics is a complex project that requires standardized and systematic management. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, we have integrated three international standards. These are the sustainability management system for large-scale events, environmental management system, and social responsibility guidelines. In addition, we have established BOCOG's sustainable management system. As a result, we have effectively managed sustainable work in major venues and more than 50 work areas.

Second, we have created ecological competition zones. Given that the snow events will be mainly held in mountainous areas, measures have been taken to reduce the impact on the environment since we designed the venues. Before planning and designing, baseline surveys on the types and distribution of plants and environmental impact assessments were conducted. Protection measures were determined in terms of avoidance, mitigation, restoration, and compensation. The in-situ, near-situ, and ex-situ conservation measures have been taken for plants in the competition zones. We have employed multiple measures to reduce the impact on the animals in the competition zones, including setting up wildlife corridors, laying out artificial bird nests, and standardizing construction behaviors. At the same time, we have carried out ecological restoration. We have employed multiple ways to collect, store and recycle rainwater and snowmelt water to use water resources efficiently. The green mountains and clear waters of the competition zones have been protected through various measures. The goal of building venues surrounded by mountains and forests and hosting an ecological Winter Olympics has been realized.

Third, we have strictly implemented low-carbon management. We have made full use of the Beijing Olympic venues to reduce carbon emissions from the source. At the same time, we have built low-carbon stadiums, all of which have met the green building standards. Four ice stadiums have used new carbon dioxide refrigerants, making an ultra-low-energy project of more than 50,000 square meters. Low-carbon energy is fully utilized, and all the venues will be wholly powered by green energy. More than 80% of the vehicles during the Games will be energy-saving and clean energy vehicles to build a low-carbon transportation system. In addition, we have explored ways for carbon offsetting. The governments of Beijing and Hebei province contributed significant amounts of carbon sinks in the forestry industry. PetroChina, State Grid, and China Three Gorges Corporation sponsored carbon-neutral products for the Beijing Winter Olympics. With these efforts, we will make the Games carbon neutral.

Fourth, we have promoted urban and regional development. The six-year preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics have witnessed Beijing and Zhangjiakou's rapid development. The preparations for the Winter Olympics have contributed to the development of the two places. The Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway and Beijing-Chongli Expressway were completed and went into services, the road network system was improved, and the transportation facilities were connected; the two places have coordinated in desertification control, water management, and gas management, and the regional environment has been significantly improved, realizing joint prevention and control of the regional environment; the construction of public facilities has been accelerated, and public services have been improved as a whole, realizing the joint development and sharing of public services. Several influential enterprises have settled in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, and the development industries such as ice and snow and green energy have been accelerated and mutually reinforced. The Shougang Park in Beijing will become a "new landmark of urban revival," Yanqing will turn into a "most beautiful Winter Olympic City," and Zhangjiakou will be an "Asian ice and snow vacation destination." These three regions have become models of high-quality urban development promoted by the Winter Olympics.

Fifth, all preparations for the Games are aimed at benefiting the people. Raising people's living standards is an important part of sustainable development and also a natural result of the Winter Olympics. Over the past six years, seizing the development opportunities brought by the Games, Beijing and Zhangjiakou have accelerated the development of their infrastructure and facilities while fully improving public services. Industries related to winter sports have created more jobs for residents, made their lives easier and provided more development opportunities, thus improving people's sense of happiness and fulfillment. The promotion of winter sports has encouraged people to engage in sports and embrace a healthy lifestyle. Accessibility has been improved and a more inclusive society is quickly taking shape, helping people with disabilities to better integrate into society. Volunteer services are increasingly popular, which in turn contributes to a more civilized society.

Today, we would like to use this platform to release the Beijing 2022 Pre-Games Sustainability Report. The report summarizes our progress made on sustainability in preparation for the Games. The full text of the report is now available to download from the official website of Beijing's organizing committee. We hope you will check it out. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) attached great importance and spoke highly of the report on sustainable development. President Thomas Bach and President Andrew Parsons have both sent congratulatory videos for the report.

That is the introduction. Thank you. 

Chen Wenjun:

Thank you, Mr. Li. Please watch the video by President Thomas Bach and President Andrew Parsons.

(Video playing)

Chen Wenjun:

We would like to thank President Thomas Bach and President Andrew Parsons for their heartwarming messages. Now the floor is open to questions. Please indicate the media organization you work for before raising a question. 

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