London Gov’t Urges Olympics to Rethink Dow Chemical Sponsorship
The London Assembly’s motion stemmed from Dow’s connection to the Bhopal disaster, in which a gas leak at a pesticide factory killed as many as 25,000 people, Reuters reported. The factory was owned by a subsidiary of Union Carbide, a company which Dow bought in 2001. Since then Dow has refused the Indian government’s demands that it increase the $470 million compensation that Union Carbide paid.
The Independent said that Dow’s status as a worldwide Olympic partner is worth $100 million over 10 years. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games also has a local deal with the chemical company, providing a decorative wrap for the main Olympic stadium. The London 2012 games kick off with an opening ceremony at the stadium on July 27.
Assembly member Navin Shah, who proposed the motion, said it was too late to abandon the London sponsorship deal but in the future, the IOC should enact “criteria for partners that conform to [IOC] priorities and keep out the likes of Dow Chemicals.”
The motion passed 16 to seven.
In other Games news, BP says it will offset travel-related carbon emissions for all members of the US Olympic and Paralympic Teams – an estimated 4,500 tons of CO2 from 12 million athlete miles – in addition to offsetting emissions from ticketed US fans traveling to London.
This initiative is part of BP’s program to help offset the more than 400,000 tons of CO2 associated with travel to and from the 2012 Games. Supported by Target Neutral, a BP-developed nonprofit program, the company expects the initiative to offset the most amount of journeys to a single event ever.
BP says the CO2 is being neutralized through six low-carbon development projects across the globe, ranging from collapsible wind turbines in New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific Ocean, to methane capture in Wisconsin.
The carbon released into the atmosphere by London 2012 spectators is estimated to be the second largest source of carbon outputs related to the Games, BP says. The largest, according to the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, is venues.
In addition to the Olympics travel offsets, BP Target Neutral is offsetting all Team USA “Road to London” transport activities to reduce the carbon impact of pre-Games activities.
The company has also created a new Target Neutral fueling station at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The new station, in which all fuels dispensed are now 100 percent carbon offset, has energy efficient LED lighting – reducing power consumption by 50 percent – and provides education on reducing, replacing and neutralizing emissions from driving, BP says.
Additionally, BP is offsetting the US Olympic Committee fleet of more than 80 vehicles.
MarketWatch has reported that BP plans to invest $8 billion in biofuels and wind energy by the end of the year. This puts BP’s Alternative Energy division ahead of schedule — it announced plans in 2005 to invest $8 billion by 2015 and has already invested $7 billion, with $4 billion in the US.
In a report published earlier this year, BP predicted that energy production by renewable sources will roughly quadruple by 2030 — the equivalent of 860.2 million metric tons of oil, up from the equivalent of 264.1 million metric tons of oil in 2015 — but the use of such energy will still only account for fraction of energy consumption.
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