October 15 - Munich's Green Party has voted to back the German city's bid to host the 2018 Olympics, endorsing the environmental concept unveiled by organisers last week.
The city association of the Green Party in Munich voted 66 to 47 in favour of supporting the bid after studying the environmental concept developed by experts from across Germany.
Boris Schwartz, Munich 2018’s project manager with responsibility for the bid’s environmental strategy, said: "We are happy that our vision is shared by a large majority of the Green Party.
"This is one of the rare examples where the planning of a major global sports event works hand in glove with the Green Party.
"We will do our utmost to make the Games in Munich not just carbon neutral but the most environmentally friendly ever.
"Our goal is to set a role model for future projects."
Munich's environmental concept, developed in cooperation with the German Sports University, Cologne, and the Institute for Applied Ecology, is designed to ensure that a Munich winter Games sets new environmental benchmarks for major event planning and delivery, they claim.
The bid is based on a two-cluster concept designed to minimise traffic and drive down costs.
Professor Dr Ralf Roth of the German Sports Univesity in Cologne, said: "It is all very well talking about climate neutral and environmentally friendly Games, but this concept will allow us to turn words into action, to make our ambitions a reality.
"Our concept will provide the basis for developing sustainable sports and tourism activities in the area."
The flagship projects include an energy-plus Olympic Village where the emphasis will be on using state-of-the-art technology to reduce energy use in housing, for example through renewable raw materials, photovoltaic systems, and cogeneration for heat and power.
There will also be a focus on efficient and renewable transportation for the Munich 2018, including the use of hybrid buses and electronic cars with certified eco-power emitting 5 grams/km of CO2 per km which is 95 per cent less than normal cars in 2018.
Dr. Michael Vesper, Director General of the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) and head of the Munich 2018 Supervisory Board, claimed that the backing of the Green Party was an important milestone in the bid.
Germany's Green Party is one of the strongest in Europe and a major politicial force in Germany.
Between 1998 and 2005 it formed a coalition Government with the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Vesper said: "This is a great day for Munich 2018 and a very positive outcome for both sides of the discussion.
"Germany is a democratic country and this discussion process is a good example of it.
"The vote is a clear signal of support for Munich 2018 with more than 60 per cent of the Green Party in Munich in favour of the bid.
"We hope that we can convince the remaining 40 per cent, over the next 22 months, that the 2018 Winter Games will be a positive major event not just for Munich, but for Germany as a nation."
Cities had until today to inform the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of their interest in bidding for the 2018 Games.
Munich is one of three bidders, along with South Korea’s Pyeongchang and Annecy of France.
The IOC will announce the winner at Session in Durban on July 6, 2011.