Winter Olympics 2022, is indeed one of the world’s first carbon-free Green Olympics for significant reasons, especially the steps taken by China for making this dream a reality. With a pledge to have less carbon footprint globally, China is committed to making the Olympics in line with the vision and mission. China uses green technologies and scientific approaches to make this dream a reality.
Greenifying of Beijing Winter Olympics is China's top priority. All the games zones have been supplied with clean energy to empower games without any glitch. At the same, this is diversifying China's overall approach towards building alternative energy resources, especially to continue the practice for the future.
Given the global Climate Change concerns, the Chinese government decided to assent the new policy as an alternative to coal and petrochemical energy. It further highlights the Chinese potential of producing renewable energy and reflects its compliance with Climate Change agreements. It has been a success for China at both policy and administrative levels.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) made recommendations to make the Olympics sustainable and carbon neutral. The organizing committee found alternatives to ensure the low carbon impact of the games through carbon-free transport and energy. In close cooperation with IOC, Chinese Olympic Committee, the country has made arrangements to transform the overall landscape to offer environment friendly games.
It is worth mentioning here that China has developed the capacity of producing clean energy more than the Olympics requirement. The sporting arenas would require 400 GWh of electricity from the preparation to the end of games. From June 2019 to the end of the games, the cumulative use of renewable energy will be about 400 million kWh. There are natural CO2 refrigeration systems emplaced. This technology was used first time in China at the Olympics. This can reduce and 128,000 tons of coal and 320,000 tons of CO2.
In terms of renewable energy production, Zhangjiakou has appeared to be the Windpower capital of China. If the city is equated to a country, its wind and solar potential would be the 12th largest in the world. This came in the backdrop of technological advancement China plans to display at the Olympics as part of its development exhibition.
It further signifies the importance of clean energy and global climate considerations for the rest of the world working on green development. China is eager to cooperate with other states to build green and blue economies to reduce its carbon footprint.
In terms of environmental protection, there are five in-city conservation areas, two near-situ conservation areas, a 20 hector of ex-situ conservation base, and the Winter Olympic Forest Park has been developed in the main ski resort. There are 11 open reservoirs, underground snowmelt pools, and a miniature landscape of lakes built to save 530,000 cubic meters of water. Intelligent artificial snowmaking has been made possible to conserve water up to twenty percent.
China has utilized and renovated the earlier built Olympic venues of 2008, and most of them are transformed into ice sports venues. All the newly built venues will be used again after the Olympics and will remain an asset to Chinese national sports. Later these will be open to the public for sporting events at the national level.
This whole exercise is planned and executed in the backdrop of President Xi's climate change commitments to the global agenda of a clean environment.
Keeping the commitment to reducing the carbon footprint might sound ambitious, but China is already keeping up the pace reflecting through actions during the games. As China has already achieved Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 ten years ahead of schedule, China would surely add the experience of sustainable development into power generation for more sustained industrial production.
(Muhammad Asif Noor, the writer is Founder Friends of BRI Forum.)