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London Ditches Carbon Offsets for 2012 Olympics

Plan was part of bid to host games
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2011 3:58 PM CDT
London Ditches Carbon Offsets for 2012 Olympics
An aerial photo of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.   (AP Photo/LOCOG, Anthony Charlton)

(Newser) – As part of London’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, organizers offered a plan to keep the Games green—but they’ve changed their minds. The committee will “no longer pursue formal offsetting procedures,” it said, dropping its pledge to balance carbon emissions from the Games with clean-energy investments in developing countries. Such offsetting would have “diverted” attention from Britain, says the Games’ sustainability chief. The decision also saves the organizing committee up to $4.4 million, Bloomberg reports.

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“If you want to go down certified carbon-offsetting, all projects have to be overseas, so if we plant a lot of trees in Essex that just doesn’t count,” says the official. “Because the Games are in the UK, we wanted to maximize the Games locally.” A British Green Party rep wasn’t happy with the shift. “Obviously we want the Olympics to benefit London, but environmentally they should be a green Olympics to benefit the whole world as well.” The move comes amid reports of mounting costs, according to the Guardian. (Read more 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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