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ODA slammed for setting the Olympics sustainability bar too low

London 2012 Olympics delivery boss David Higgins is facing a green backlash after claiming the technology needed to meet ambitious sustainability targets for the Games is unavailable.

Higgins, Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chief executive, said at a recent London Assembly meeting that the target of 20 per cent renewable energy sources for the games was the best that could be expected with today's technology.

This statement came despite 20 per cent sustainability being the Mayor's target for all developments by 2010, two years before the games.

Higgins said: 'Today, the technology in biomass or fuel cells is not there to give this level of local generation. It's all about local generation, which is the key to making these Games more sustainable.

'The way we've structured it both financially and with common ownership of the distribution system means that as technology evolves over the next decade, this network in the Olympic Park will be constantly upgraded.'

The comment has caused uproar among the Green Party as well as leading low-carbon architects, such as Bill Dunster, the man behind BedZed, who believe the technology is not only there but would offer the Games a perfect opportunity to set a benchmark for the rest of the country.

Dunster said: 'Biomass plants are working, they are reliable and they are being used all over the UK. The size of the site will not cause any problems, in fact, it will bring its own opportunities.'

London Assembly Green Party member Jenny Jones, added: 'We've been promised the 'greenest Olympics ever', but the environment policies so far have been more bog standard than gold standard.

'How can you describe policies as exemplary, when they don't go any further than the building regulations that will be in place by 2010?'

by Richard Vaughan

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