This sub-plan is made on the basis of the Objectives and Tasks listed by the Beijing Olympic Action Plan, aiming at realizing Green Olympics, enhancing sustainability of the city and ensuring the 2008 Olympics to create rich and unique environmental heritage for Beijing, China and the Olympic movements.
1. Present Environmental Status
(1) Environmental Quality and Ecological Conditions
With the fast economic development in Beijing, breakthroughs were also made in the prevention and control of environmental pollution, the improvement of environmental quality and the strengthening of eco-environmental conservation. During the Ninth Five-Year Plan period, about 34 billion RMB Yuan investment was made to protect the environment, accounting for 3.3% of the GDP of the period. From 1999 to 2001, the city’s annual environmental investment has exceeded 10 billion RMB Yuan.
In 2001, the natural gas supply for the urban area of Beijing reached 1.4 billion cubic meters; the floor area heated by centralized-heating system covered 100 million square meters; the area heated by electricity and geo-thermal energy reached 6 million square meters; and all coal-burning small cooking and hot water stoves and 8,600 sets of coal-burning heating boilers in the urban area have been converted to cleaner energy. Through banning leaded gas and enforcement of more stringent emission standards, over 400,000 vehicles have reached the emission limits equivalent to those applied in Europe in early 1990’s. All industrial discharge has hit the state limits by May 2000.
the domestic refuse received safe treatment and disposal. On the other hand, the number of the autobus and trolley bus reached 13,000 and the total length of rail transportation increased to 54 kilometers.
The programs for building urban green shelter, afforestation in the remote area, development of ecological agriculture, soil erosion control and desert and barren land reclamation are all well under way. By 2001, urban and main towns’ green coverage rate increased to 38.8% and city-wide green coverage rate reached 44%. Building of three green shelters in the mountainous, plain and urban areas has made great progress. The central government supported ecological restoration and conservation around Beijing-Tianjin and in the northern China as a whole is very well progressed.
In 2001, the annual averages of SO2, NOX, TSP and CO in urban air decreased to 0.064, 0.127, 0.370 and 2.6 milligram per cubic meter respectively, about 47%, 16%, 2% and 21% down compared with 1998 when the pollution was most serious. With the renovation and pollution control efforts, water quality in the urban waterways has reached national standards for their respective functions. In general, city-wide ecological conservation has been carried out steadily.
With above progresses, a working mechanism led by the municipal government, supervised collectively by the environmental departments, managed by different departments and participated by the general public has been formed. The laws and regulations for the environmental protection and the management systems have been formulated and enforced. In August 2000, the Green Olympic Action Plan was signed jointly by Beijing Olympic Bidding Committee, the relevant municipal authorities and more than 20 environmental NGO’s. With the implementation of the plan, The concept of Green Olympics becomes more and more popular among the Beijing citizens.
Generally speaking, a solid foundation has been laid for the strategy of the Green Olympics in the aspects of legislation, technology, economy and public awareness.
(2) Major Environmental Challenges
Despite the great progress made in recent years in Beijing’s environmental protection and ecological conservation, there is still much for us to do to reach the requirement of a green Olympic Games, owing much to the restrictions in natural geography and climate conditions and the environmental pollution caused by human activities.
The air pollution in the urban area is still serious. Particle concentration in the ambient air still keeps at relatively high level while the concentration of other pollutants has come close to or already met the national standards.
The shortage of water resource exaggerates the pollution of water body. The main problems are the shortage of water resources and the irrational structure in water consumption, which has caused a serious lack of water used for ecological purpose. Moreover, there are not enough facilities to collect and treat the wastewater in the rural area while sewerage treatment rate in the urban area is still low.
The regional ecological system is fragile. Green coverage in the city still needs to be expanded and green land maintenance needs to be strengthened. The lack of green land in the downtown in particular, directly affects the healthy of the urban ecological system, which has led to, for example, an obvious heat island effect. In addition, the suburban area linking the urban and rural, still needs much improvement in its environmental outlook, green coverage and infrastructure.
Moreover, the mechanisms for the collection, transportation, recycling and treatment of hazardous wastes, industrial solid wastes and domestic refuse need to be improved. Control of noise, electric-magnetic radiation and radiological safety require more attention.
In the foreseeable future, a number of factors affecting environment, including city size, population, energy and resources consumption, vehicle fleet, water demand in urban area and the scale of construction, will keep increasing or maintain at a high level. More active measures to prevent and treat environmental pollution and improve the environmental quality should be taken to safeguard and improve the urban environmental quality and regional ecosystem.