Greenpeace slams Olympics’ green record

The Athens Olympics will have a «miserable» environmental record despite making pledges to integrate green policies in its plans when the city won the bid to host the Games, Greenpeace said yesterday. «Instead of moving forward even just a little bit, Athens has actually gone back, way back as far as their environmental record is concerned – it is pretty miserable,» local Greenpeace director Nikos Haralambidis said. «They had promised a lot of things in their bid in 1997 and have delivered almost nothing. Athens would not get a single mark were it not for some improvement in public transport,» he said. Greece won their Olympic bid in 1997 promising to address air and water quality, fragile natural areas, and traffic and waste management. But Haralambidis said apart from introducing a tramline and extending the metro – moves that will help decongest the capital and reduce pollution – organizers have failed in other respects. Environmental groups have pressed Games organizers to insist that all Olympic venues and sites, including the 2,292-apartment athletes’ village, include features that reduce energy consumption and garbage and help improve the environment. Games organizers (ATHOC) have said that while they had pressed contractors to include environmentally friendly features in all sports venues, they could not force them to do so. «If the International Olympic Committee, which has said that the environment is the Games’ third pillar behind sports and culture, does not want to deal with it then it should say so and stop this joke,» said Haralambidis.

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