Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It's Hard for Beijing to be Green

Today the Organizing Committee for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) announced its 15-point plan to make the city more environmentally friendly in time for the big event next summer.

And it's an ambitious plan -- recycling 50 per cent of waste water and using it for irrigation; recycling petroleum products; wind power; water and sewage treatment plants; phasing out old vehicles off the road.... the list goes on and on.

The officials also announced their green light bulb project will expand to include more public areas, like hospitals and schools. And an exhibition on conserving energy drew some 17,000 visitors. What is the population of Beijing? 10.8 million. Doesn't seem like everyone got the message.

And recycling? I haven't seen any recycling bins anywhere or any kind of propaganda telling people to sort their garbage and save the environment.

There were other grandiose plans like controlling dust pollution! And in typical Chinese official style, there were no concrete action plans or time lines released.

Somehow I doubt Beijing will be holding a green Games next year. More like grainy mustard to me.


Gary Schlee said...

It's great to get an unfolding view of how China is gearing up for the Olympics, from a communicator's point of view. I'm looking forward to reading more as officials earnestly try to get the public's attention. Are there particularly vivid differences you're discovering in the way Canada and China handle publicity?

Keep blogging.

Louisa said...

So much to do, so little time... These resolutions would have a better chance of being realized if they were made years ago. But hopefully at least it raises the public's awareness for environmental matters. For actions to be taken as part of everyday habits, it would take many, many years.