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Organizer aims to make Expo green
(06/05/2009)

The 2010 Shanghai World Expo organizer is encouraging all visitors to bring tableware and eco-friendly bags to the Expo site to reduce waste.

The organizer yesterday issued guidelines with the United Nations Environment Program, calling on Expo visitors, participants and shop owners in the site to make the Expo a green event.

The guidelines urge people to take public transportation to the Expo site, sort their rubbish and throw it away in relevant trash cans.

The organizer will reward visitors who obey the guidelines, said Dai Jianmin, director of the operation department of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination. For example, if a visitor takes a beverage can to the recycling station, the organizer will hand out a small gift, he said.

Expo visitors will be encouraged to buy "carbon credits" to offset the carbon dioxide their vehicles release traveling to and from the site. Carbon credits vouchers can be purchased to offset the amount of carbon dioxide that is released from an individual's use of transportation, electricity and other products he or she consumes. The money will be used to plant trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, or in other ways to compensate for the emissions our daily lives produce.

The organizer will cooperate with a carbon exchange Website or create its own exchange, said Dai.

Websites such as the Chicago Carbon Exchange and the European Climate Exchange allow users to trade "carbon credits," said Guo Ru, an professor of environmental studies at Shanghai Tongji University.

The guidelines ask participants to use less water and minimize pollution during their exhibitions. In addition, the restaurants and hotels in the site will not be allowed to provide customers with disposable utensils.

The guidelines are available in both English and Chinese on the Expo Website (www.expo2010.cn) and that of the UNEP (www.unep.org).

The organization will evaluate Shanghai's environmental condition before and after the 2010 event, said Wang Zhijiang, special coordinator of the organization. It will be the first time such a study of the environmental impact of an Expo has been carried out.

A group of UN experts will visit the city in August and next November. They will publicize their results in May, 2011.