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

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Global Times:

Some Western media hype recently questioned if Beijing 2022 can meet green standards, alleging that it is hard to verify the green promises made for the Winter Games. What's your opinion on this? Thank you.

Yan Jiarong:

Thank you. As for the green standards you mentioned, I'd like to say that the Beijing Winter Olympics adheres to the standards set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as the sustainable standards set by the United Nations (UN). Beijing 2022 is the first Games that have implemented the Olympic Agenda 2020 throughout its bidding, preparing and hosting. It also plays an active role in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Upholding the principle to host a green Olympics, we strive to stage a sustainable Winter Games. There are many highlights in our efforts for Beijing's green Olympics, as Mr. Li Sen and Mr. Liu Yumin have just introduced. I'd like to add some more points. 

First, we have strengthened our strategic plans. Many foreign friends would say "you Chinese are good at long-term planning." The sustainability plan released by the organizing committee of Beijing 2022 and the IOC sets out a sustainable vision known as "Sustainability for the Future," and formulated 119 specific measures for positive environmental impact, new development for the region and better life for the people.

Second, we have adopted double-Olympic venues. As the other speakers said just now, we have made the best use of existing venues and facilities, which is another highlight in preparing for Beijing 2022. The National Stadium, dubbed the "Bird's Nest," will stage the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Games. The National Aquatics Center, known as the "Water Cube" during the 2008 Olympics, has become an "Ice Cube." The Wukesong Sports Center will be transformed for ice hockey events from a basketball stadium.

Third, we have implemented low-carbon emissions. Beijing 2022 has adopted multiple measures like low-carbon venues, low-carbon energy and low-carbon transportation to cut carbon emissions in preparing for and hosting the events, and achieve the ambitious goal of neutralizing all the carbon emissions generated during Beijing 2022.

Fourth, we have issued demonstrative standards. Beijing and Hebei province have jointly worked out the Evaluation Standards for Green Snow Venues as the green building standards for Winter Olympic snow venues, filling the gap at home and abroad. The sustainability management system of Beijing 2022 is unique to the Winter Olympics by integrating international standards including ISO20121, ISO4001 and ISO26000, making it the first of its kind in Olympic history to cover all the fields and scope in preparation for the Games. I believe it will set a good example for big events like the Olympics in the future. Thank you.

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