The recently released Beijing 2008 Environmental Protection, Innovation and Improvement Report (2001-06) details how this has been done, Deputy-Director of the BOCOG Construction and Environment Department Yu Xiaoxuan said.
"Beijing has accelerated construction of urban infrastructure suitable for sustainable development in order to guarantee the health of the Olympic athletes and its citizens," Yu said.
Beijing spent about 120 billion yuan ($16 billion) on environmental protection projects from 1998 to 2006, more than the scheduled 100 billion yuan committed while bidding for the Games," he said.
Yu detailed the projects that had been completed:
Last year, the natural gas supply was 3.8 billion cu m, up from 1 million cu m in 2000. This year, 4.6 billion cu m is targeted and this will increased to between 4 and 5 billion cu m in 2008.
Since December 2005, Beijing has applied Euro III emission standards for vehicles, two years earlier than scheduled.
At the end of last year forest cover in Beijing was 51 percent. This exceeded the target of 50 percent coverage by 2008. By the end of this year, the percentage is expected to be 51.6.
The treatment rate of wastewater in suburban areas was 90 percent by the end of last year, reaching the goal set for 2008.
The safe and clean treatment of garbage was 96.5 percent in 2006, near the goal of 98 percent set for 2008.
In order to ensure clear skies for the Olympics, Beijing is considering implementing contingency plans, involving surrounding cities and provinces.
"These might include regulations preventing polluting vehicles entering Beijing and temporarily shutting down polluting companies during the Games. A scientific plan is under way," Yu said.
Beijing tested these contingency plans in August, banning more than 1 million cars a day from the roads.
Air quality was judged to be "fairly good" during the four days that the plan was effective.
"Implementing temporary plans during the Olympic Games is normal practice, but they are only temporary. What's more important is the continued efforts we make to improve the environment for people," Yu said.
From tomorrow, the Seventh World Conference on Sport and the Environment will begin in Beijing.
The International Olympic Committee and the BOCOG jointly organized the three-day event, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program.
Its motto is: "From Plan to Action"