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Saturday, January 27, 2007
Greening the Olympics?
The Olympic Delivery Authority last week unveiled its plans to stage the ‘greenest’ Olympics to date, with conveniently 2,012 days to go until the London 2012 Games. It is launching the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, which will ‘monitor and verify’ London’s pledge to host the ‘most sustainable games ever’, was also unveiled. It will be chaired by sustainable business expert Shaun McCarthy.

But it has not been without the inevitable accusations of greenwash. In a late surge of enthusiasm, Jack Pringle (RIBA president) has castigated them for not going far enough, with a few dodgy sporting metaphors.

Pringle said: ‘The ODA should be going for gold with its green targets for the Olympic Village. This is a perfect opportunity to provide the most environmentally friendly homes possible, and show what Britain is capable of.

‘Instead, the government and the ODA have been lapped by their own targets. They’re not even in the race.’ The ODA sustainability strategy states that the Olympic Village will be 25 per cent more energy efficient than buildings built today. However, Pringle points out that the government is aiming to meet that target by 2010, while at any rate, the government is proposing that all new homes be 44 per cent more energy efficient by 2013, and carbon neutral by 2016.

The ODA claims that 20 per cent of the energy needed will be generated by on-site renewable sources; already the minimum that will probably come in to the London Plan amendments this year.

Meanwhile the parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport select committee today said that the Treasury “could and should” have publicised its concerns about potential cost overruns before the original London bid was submitted.

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