Olympics 2022: The Biggest Challenge Against China’s Zero-COVID Policy
The Beijing Olympics in 2022 will go down as one of the biggest international events in history. As such, this will be a major test for China’s zero-COVID policy. COVID is short for carbon dioxide and represents what the country has pledged to do when it comes to its carbon emissions. The country made an international commitment that by 2030, their greenhouse gas emissions will peak and be reduced thereafter.
They also promised to increase the share of non-fossil fuel power generation in primary energy consumption to 20 percent by 2020 and aggressively pursue green development above all else. What makes zero-COVID so big is that China is not only trying to make it possible to stand by their word in the future, but they are also trying to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in order to contain global warming. With this issue in mind, the Beijing Olympics will be a touchstone for many policies across China.
The government has promised that during the games, every vehicle within the city center will be powered with electricity or natural gas. They have already started shutting down old coal-fired power plants and replacing them with new ones that run on clean energy sources. This ambitious project aims at not only making sure that there is no COVID increase during these games, but also reducing COVID levels for good.
The Olympics, as such, will be a major test for China’s zero-Covid policy. This issue is something that will have a lasting effect on the environment and China’s economy even after the games are over.
In relation to that, the government announced on Saturday its plan to reduce carbon dioxide intensity by 40% over five years, turning it into a mandatory commitment.
The Olympic Games will host more than 10,000 athletes from around the world and attract 100,000 foreign visitors in 2008. With this many people coming to Beijing just during the game’s two weeks of events alone, one could say that the success of the zero-COVID policy will largely hinge on whether or not it can control CO2 emissions during this period. Furthermore, if this new policy proves successful during the Games, then it might also serve as a reference for other countries’ efforts toward fighting climate change.
In addition, in order to ensure a smooth and safe Olympic Games, the government also published a guideline covering security before and during the Olympics. It recognized public safety as its “highest priority,” and emphasized that it would protect human rights (including freedom of speech), social stability and people’s health when maintaining social security.