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Beijing put Games ahead of industry
Beijing will put the Games ahead of industry.
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2007 19:59 GMT

Turning the stacks off for the Games? [GALLO/GETTY]

The organising committee of the Beijing Games claim they are willing to shut down the capital's industry if pollution threatens to disrupt next year's Olympics.
 
Poor air quality remains a serious problem for the August 8-24 Games next year in Beijing, one of the world's most polluted cities.
"If the pollution is really heavy during the period of the Games, then we can adopt hard meaures like ordering a temporary closure of industry," organising committee chief Liu Qi said.
 
Beijing's pledge to stage a "green" Olympics was one of their keys campaigning tactics.

Since winning the right to host the Games in 2001 the city claims it has spent $12 billion on planting trees and parks and curbing polluting industries.
  
Liu said that major polluters like Capital Iron and Steel were being moved out of the capital and 200 small and medium-sized firms had been closed.
  
Using a criteria that only China could then come up, Beijing enjoyed 241 "blue-sky" days last year up from just 100 clear days a decade ago, Liu said.
  
"Even so there is a big gap between Beijing and some very clean and tidy cities," he said.

"But we can only do our best to reach our goal and sincerely hope that during the time of the competition we can provide a good environment for all the athletes."
  
Last week IOC vice president Ludmilla Linberg urged Beijing authorities to work harder to reduce pollution.
  
On her 15th visit to the Chinese capital the Swedish IOC member said that poor air quality was among the chief problems some 500 days ahead of the opening ceremony.

Source:
Agencies
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