Games with minimal impact on climate
Energy dependence of humankind on hydrocarbon fuels that are burned to obtain heat and light is a major cause of global climate changes because the atmosphere is filled with greenhouse gases thereby bringing closer the threat of environmental disaster.
Practically any human activity can be measured using the criterion of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere. At the same time, mindful attitude to consumption of resources together with organization of the compensatory arrangements can bring to the minimum or even to zero the amount of negative impact that is caused by any kind of economic or other activity.
We also understand that the most relative impact of climate change is the threat to the availability of the fresh water. That is why the relevant issues of water conservation and effective management are considered in this chapter.
A number of serious environmental challenges have been detected in the city of Sochi. The most critical of those being:
- considerable pollution of Sochi environment due to poorly organized waste collection, processing and neutralization activities;
- contamination of surface and subsurface waters due to unresolved problems with water drainage and waste water treatment;
- pollution of atmosphere mainly sourcing from automotive transport blocked in the city’s system of motor roads that has lost normal throughput capacity;
- high recreational burden leading to double increase of Sochi population at the peak season and accompanied by the crisis of urban utilities’ system;
- unregulated construction development in the city and contiguous lands practiced outside the integrated city development plan, without accounting for environmental protection requirements;
- degradation of Federal significance resort accompanied by gradual deterioration of Sochi environment quality.
Organizers of Winter Games of 2014 are facing the challenge to meet the obligations laid down in the Bid Book in order to improve Sochi’s environmental conditions as much as possible.
Issues related to Sochi’s transport infrastructure as the major source of carbon dioxide emitted into atmosphere should be treated bearing in mind the following requirements:
- new transport system in Sochi should use modern methods for control and management based on information technologies and enabling online traffic control to avoid traffic jams formation;
- organized and limited traffic of motor vehicles within the boundaries of Olympic Park and Sochi National Park where Olympic facilities of the Mountain cluster are located;
- municipal transport vehicles and special machines as well as motor vehicles used in preparation of the Games including construction and other special machinery shall be provided with devices ensuring reduced content of polluting substances in exhaust gases as well as their compliance with stringent quality requirements on the consumed fuel;
- converting some of public transports in Sochi to using clean fuel (e.g. natural gas), replacement of hopelessly outdated motor vehicles by modem and environment friendly ones as well as stiffening requirements to the automobile fuel used in the Greater Sochi.
In keeping with the principles of sustainable development, mindful consumption of resources and limitation of environmental impacts, all projects for the construction and maintenance of Olympic venues and facilities of infrastructure at Games preparation and delivery phases should be accompanied by adequate environmental protection and resource saving solutions:
- projects for infrastructure facilities construction as well as Olympic venues construction projects should be exercised in an integrated manner, accomplishing the most efficient use of means and ways in order to limit negative impacts of transportand energetics on Sochi environment;
- usage of resource saving technologies and solutions based on understanding of global climatic impacts of excessive consumption that has become a pernicious habit of humankind;
- ecologically efficient technologies and materials, including those based on the usage of advantageous properties of secondary raw materials, should be employed during design and construction phases;
- all facilities should be equipped with necessary systems for reducing environmental pollution;
- it is indispensable for thedevelopment of transport infrastructure to have an adequate drainage system for channeling surface water overflows away from roadways, sidewalks, parking lots and technological sites.That system should prevent untreated effluents from getting to terrain or into water bodies;
- reduction of water consumption and water resources conservation, e.g. by collecting and utilizing rainwater and implementation of recirculating water systems;
- taking into account protection regime at the Sochi National Park territory, Organizers of the Games shall make provisions for tightened protection of environment from negative impacts of transport, including particularly attentive attitudes to maximal reduction of all kinds of pollutions sourcing from transport, including noise and light pollution as well as emission of pollutants into the atmosphere;
- delivery of projects aimed at diverting municipal boilers from fuel oil and coal to gas together with improvement of their technical conditions in order to reduce emissions of pollutants;
- maximum possible usage of alternative (renewable) sources of energy generation of which does not entail environmental pollution, e.g. creation of block gas boilers in rural areas in order to replace sources of atmosphere pollution such as coal fuelled heaters;
- newly built generating capacities are designed for gas fuel only;
- strict control over cleanness of construction sites involving non-admission of dumping untreated surface discharge from the construction site, reduction of noise, vibration, light and other types of pollution accompanying construction, including air pollution with exhaust gases from construction machines and reduction of dust generation involving appropriate arrangements for dust trapping;
- delivery of programs for verduring Olympic Park, venues, the city and Sochi National Park.
Climate neutrality principles laid down during preparatory phase of the Games will not only improve ecological situation in Sochi but also enable the owners of respective facilities to receive long-term economic profits from resource savings.
Calculation of greenhouses gases envissions
Successful delivery of competitions in winter sports in the open air directly depends on the condition of the environment (including condition of snow and low temperatures).
Neutral carbon balance concept assumes achieving zero balance of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing their volume and balancing the volume of emitted gases with the help of compensatory measures.
In order to control proper implementation of the neutral carbon balance concept, calculation of greenhouse gas emissions related to preparation and delivery of the Games will be performed.
The project of calculationgreenhouse gas emissions in Sochi will be implemented on the basis of innovative experience of HECTOR program (HEritage Climate TORino program) gained by Organizing Committee of Olympic Games in Torino. That program made it possible to neutralize carbon balance during the Games in 2006. That Program made it possible to compensate more than 100000 tons of carbon dioxide discharges during the Games.
The system for calculating greenhouse gas emissions in Sochi will have to achieve four main goals:
- to determine the sources and the volume of greenhouse emissions using as starting point, the volume of emissions in July 2007;
- to prepare forecast of greenhouse gas emissions for 2014 with regard for the increasing transport flows and Olympic venues construction;
- to compensate greenhouse gas emissions by making a number of package arrangements (rehabilitation of forest lands, using renewable energy sources and rational use of energy);
- to draw attention of stakeholders to the problems of global climate change.
Calculation will cover all energy used (including electricity), air and land transport. Efforts related to calculation process, drawing up the concept and the program for reducing emissions and increasing absorption of greenhouse will be taken by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russian Federation, Federal Service for Hydrometeoroiogy and Monitoring of Environment, by Administration of Krasnodar region, by City of Sochi administration and by the State Corporation "Olimpstroy" (SC Olimpstroy).
Realization of actions aimed at reducing the number and the volume of emissions of pollutants into Sochi air should demonstrate adherence to the Kyoto Protocol.