Gallery: 6 Ways in Which London 2012 has Failed to be ‘The Green Olympi...


3. The failure of carbon offsets

One major environmental issue with hosting the Olympic Games is the sheer amount of construction projects that are needed. Despite plans to reuse or recycle 90% of construction waste, more than half the CO2 emissions associated with the games comes from the construction process.

In order to make the entire operation as emission-free as possible, the Games have had to do a lot of carbon offsetting. This means that in exchange for creating large amounts of CO2, the Olympics are funding environmental projects to counteract the emissions from their operations. Unfortunately, this 'pay-to-pollute' scheme has drawn a lot of criticism - especially from those who see it as a 'carte blanche' for developed countries to pollute as much as they like without trying to cut their emissions.

Robin Webster of environmental lobby group Friends of the Earth has said that offsetting "is a false solution. The focus needs to be on emissions reduction, both in the UK and abroad, rather than playing one country off another."

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  1. Josh Gellers August 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    So, any time there is new construction, an event is automatically not green? This might be an unfair standard. Also, a report by the WWF and Bioregional declared that the London Games are in fact the “greenest Olympics ever” ( Perhaps we should applaud progress first before holding up the event to an impossible standard?

  2. paulkchaney August 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I can see that the estimation for the carbon footprint at the 2012 Olympics being a difficult thing to accomplish. Do you also count the electricity all over the world for people to watch it on their room heating 50″ TVs? Should everyone have sailed to Great Britain instead of flying? Finally, should we renounce the invention of fire and abandon the Olympics forever too?

    Maybe we need to keep our noses to the grindstone and continue learn from the efforts here and everywhere we can about how to improve our environment. Oh, we should congratulate those who worked so hard om all of the Green aspects of these 2012 Olympics. I am certain they were far more green than any of those we remember this century.

  3. grrl666 August 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

    i’d like to know why you guys chose to take a negative view of what the london Olympic committee has tried to do rather than applauding the measures taken to try to make this as green as possible. you’re never going to have an entirely green olympics, the fact that people will travel to go automatically makes a low carbon footprint impossible.

    one of the basic tenets of good leadership is to give credit where credit is due. if you applaud the efforts that are made, people will be more willing to go out of their way to change the way things are done.

  4. philipm31 July 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I’m working in the stadium, and have noticed that theres always three bins wherever i go.. Trash, recycling, and compostables.. And all of the concession food containers are compostable. It’s a start at least.

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