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Livingstone's carbon-neutral Olympics promise under fire

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Zaha Hadid's Aquatics Centre is at the forefront of a political row over London Mayor Ken Livingstone's pledge to deliver a carbon-neutral Games.

This week the Mayor was forced to admit green energy was not factored into the original design competition brief for the building.

This comes after he charged the London Climate Control Agency with the task of neutralising carbon emissions from the Games.

The revelation has angered the London Assembly's Green Party politicians, who insist eco-technology, such as ground-source heat pumps, should have been a priority from the start and not 'bolted on at the last minute'.

In a written response to questioning from Darren Johnson, Green Party member of the London Assembly, Livingstone stressed that green energy was part of a 'more general sustainability requirement' considered during post-bid judging.

'As the project progresses, the design architects will be expected to work within the framework of Olympic Delivery Authority sustainability policy which seeks to secure carbon efficiency and the provision of a new combined heat and power and renewable energy infrastructure for the park,' he said.

But the response has failed to quell criticism from the Green Party, which says the Mayor has failed to indicate which - if any - renewable technologies will be used on Olympics infrastructure a year after the Games was awarded to London.

'I'm worried that we might not get the promised on-site renewables needed to deliver the greenest Olympics ever,' Johnson told the AJ.

'While if done well the Olympics do have the potential for taking forward the green agenda, there is also a real risk of less funding and fewer staff being available to support other green initiatives. We'll be watching the situation closely to make sure this doesn't happen,' he added.

The latest attack on the Mayor's green credentials comes days after he admitted the capital will miss its 2010 target for CO 2emissions ( Mayor admits his carbon targets are impossible).

by Clive Walker

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