London Olympic flame to be carbon neutral

30 October 2007

It is the enduring symbol of the Olympic movement, lit in the past by legends of sport including Muhammad Ali and the Australian gold medalist Cathy Freeman.

Now, in an effort to ensure London's 2012 Olympics are remembered as the "greenest" ever, organisers are exploring ways of developing a more carbon neutral flame which will be kept alight in a cauldron in the main stadium for the month of Olympic and Paralympic competition.


A spokeswoman for London 2012 said: " We want London 2012 to be a truly sustainable Games. Using a low-carbon fuel to light the Olympic flame and keep it burning throughout the Games is one of the many things we are looking at right now to deliver a 'green games'.


"The Olympic games and Paralympic games have the power to set agendas, and change behaviour, and applying sustainability principles to one of the most potent symbols of the Games will, we hope, help us do just that."


To that end London 2012 are now in talks with one of their major sponsors, the French company EDF, about finding an energy source which will reduce carbon emissions.

In the past, host cities have relied on high carbon based fuels such as paraffin to ensure that the flame, carried by torch bearers from the ancient site of Olympia in Greece , is visible during the day and at night.

But next summer's Beijing Games are set to be overshadowed by pollution concerns with the International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge warning earlier this year that some events may have to be postponed because of the city's smog.

With that in mind London say they are making environmental and sustainability issues one of the key priorities of the 2012 Games.


Earlier this week they announced plans to deter the 8million who will attend the event from using their cars. And next month London will unveil their sustainability strategy for the 2012 Games.


But Jenny Jones, a Green party member of the London Assembly, accused London 's organisers of getting their priorities wrong and for failing to stick to targets they set themselves on renewable energy.She said: "Every little helps but this really is a drop in the ocean.

“There are much bigger problems of sustainability to deal with."


Sourced from 26/10/2007

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