Gangwon tries for a green Games

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Gangwon tries for a green Games


The Gangneung Ice Arena, which will host figure skating and short-track speed skating at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The arena was built on a reclaimed landfill. [YONHAP]

This page features articles written by middle and high school students participating in the Korea JoongAng Daily’s internship program. All articles were written under the guidance of our staff reporters.

Previous Olympics have left behind tremendous environmental costs. As the PyeongChang Olympics approach, many are wondering whether it will be different.

“Korea’s plan is to use renewable energy for 100 percent of the Olympic Games. For this, additional wind power generation complexes will be constructed and new and renewable energy generation facilities will be constructed at the newly established ice skating rinks,” wrote a writer for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics blog.

The Olympics has three major green energy targets. The three major fields are expanding renewable energy use, using less fossil fuels and using certified emission reduction techniques.

The Games are taking several steps toward minimizing the use of fossil fuels. The Korea Environment Corporation decided to create a program to reduce and offset greenhouse gases. Korea will provide electric cars and hybrid vehicles for athletes, tournament officials and operating personnel.

Some were concerned that the arenas, hotels and more would be built near migratory bird habitats. There were also worries that local salmon may be harmed due to construction. But the Gangneung Ice Arena was built in an area that was formerly a landfill.

The last Winter Olympics were held in Sochi, Russia. However, those Olympics were not eco-friendly.

The 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, was held with the idea of “nature and symbiosis.” However, 5,000 trees were cut down to make space for the bobsled stadium.

“Hailing the vision of ‘an O2 Plus Winter Games,’” the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is working on a sustainable environmental plan. Conserving water resources, revitalizing ecosystems, improving biodiversity and recycling waste materials into energy resources are a part of the Olympic Games’ environmental infrastructure. These environmental efforts have led to Pyeongchang’s designation as a “Low-Carbon Green Growth Model City” by the Korean government.

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