NAIROBI -- The UN environment agency, UNEP, says that solar energy, wind farms and recycled water are among the green features that will help power experience of about 7 million spectators to the opening of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
"Anybody who knows what the situation was like 10 years ago in Beijing will clearly acknowledge that an enormous amount has been done," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said in a statement received here Tuesday.
He said the legacy of this Olympic Games will be in part that it has left in place an infrastructure for public transport and cleaner vehicles that will benefit not only the Olympic Games but also the population of Beijing and other parts of China.
"So in that sense, air pollution was an incentive to do something that was long overdue in China's own interest," said Steiner, who will be attending the opening ceremony of the Games Friday.
The variety of clean energy and energy saving solutions employed by venue designers in Beijing provides a positive showcase and an inspiration for future Games organizers, according to a report entitled "Beijing 2008 Olympic Games -- An Environmental Review."
The UN agency said the solar power is being used to light lawns, courtyards and streets at several venues including the Olympic Village.
The National Stadium, where events such as athletics and football will be held, is being lit by a 130 KW photovoltaic system, UNEP said.
"At the 400,000 square meters Olympic Village, reclaimed water from the Qinghe sewage treatment plant is being used for heating and cooling systems, around 60 percent in electrical savings is anticipated," it said.
"The organizers have set a target of achieving a 50 percent recycling of waste including paper, metals and plastics at venues, " it said.
"A test run, carried out during the 11th World Softball Championships held last year, achieved a nearly 90 percent recycling."