Enviros Accuse 2004 Athens Olympic Organizers of Green Failings

Organizers of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens are already getting poor scores from environmentalists, who say the Greeks have missed numerous opportunities to make the games more eco-friendly. Greece won its bid to host the games in part by pledging to protect vulnerable natural and cultural areas and deal with problems related to air pollution, water quality, traffic, and waste management, but WWF Greece and Greenpeace say little progress has been made in these areas. The enviros also point out that solar power, non-toxic building materials, and recycling systems have not been integrated into construction of the Olympic Village and other large complexes. While environmental groups worked closely with organizers of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia — dubbed the “Green Games” — groups say the Athens organizers have ignored their input. “What Athens has to offer is a lesson in how things shouldn’t be done,” said Nikos Haralambidis of Greenpeace.