Omid Memarian reports for IPS News:
Though human rights and environmental issues — such as censorship and pollution in Beijing — have been the two major focuses of criticism levelled against the Chinese government during the lead up to the Olympic games, Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is expected to address some of Beijing’s environmental successes during the opening ceremonies.
In continuing support for the Greening of the Games initiative, Steiner will take part in the Olympic Torch Relay before attending the opening ceremony. He will also meet with Zhou Shengxian, China’s environment minister, and Wan Gang, the minister for science and technology.
Steiner “will definitely address all the environmental issues, Theodore Oben, UNEP chief of sports and the environment, told IPS in a telephone interview from Beijing. “We have to see after the Games,” Oben said, when asked about the environmental impact of the games.
The Games will have a positive environmental legacy if the new environme
ntal standards and measures taken for Beijing are adopted countrywide, according to UNEP.