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British athletes should go for environmental gold in Athens - Baker

August 2, 2004 12:00 AM

Olympic Rings - GreenWith less than two weeks until the start of the Athens 2004 Olympics, the Liberal Democrats are calling on the British team to reduce the environmental impact of the Games by travelling on a 'carbon neutral' basis.

On 13th August 2004 470 athletes and officials will travel from Britain for the opening ceremony causing over tonnes of carbon dioxide on their outward and return flights - the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back three times.

Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, is calling on the British team to send a clear message to the rest of the Games that the environment must not be ignored at major world events. Flying on a 'carbon neutral' basis can be achieved by planting trees to offset the carbon dioxide.

Commenting, Norman Baker MP said:

"The Athens Olympics should be a great sporting occasion. But this celebration will be marred unless action is taken to offset the massive environmental footprint the Olympics will leave.

"Clearly we can't stop Olympic-related activities causing carbon emissions, but we can identify compensatory measures such as tree planting in areas subject to deforestation.

"The British team should seek sponsorship to support a bid to travel carbon neutral and send a message to other teams that they have a responsibility to the environment."

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