Light my fire

November 8, 2011   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

Much media attention was focused on the failure to deliver a low carbon Olympic torch earlier this year. This was disappointing in terms of the symbolism of the Olympic flame and the message it could have given to the world about a sustainable Games. The actual carbon impact is very small indeed, LOCOG will save more carbon by limiting the number of vehicles in the inevitable motorcade that follows the procession and ensuring the vehicles that are allowed are as low carbon as possible. The torch was all about the message. We should not forget that LOCOG also promised a low carbon Olympic cauldron; the flame that is lit during the opening ceremony and stays alight throughout the Games. This is about the message and the carbon. We won’t know the details until the opening ceremony but I am encouraging LOCOG to think about this in a very holistic way. Firstly; conservation should be considered as the first design challenge, so we would expect the flame to burn much less fuel than its predecessors. If it’s anything like Sydney, London’s cauldron could use as much gas during the Games as 225 UK households use in a year – that is …