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Dubai to host zero-carbon rock concert

Rock the World – Save the World, the “first-ever 100% environmentally sustainable rock concert”, is taking place at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on 15 November with a capacity of 6,000.

The concert is the brainchild of biofuel company Neutral Fuels, and is produced in partnership with non-profit environmental organisation One Tree Planted and eco-clothing manufacturer DGrade.

Organisers aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions, showing that it is possible to “enjoy mind-blowing rock without contributing to climate change.”

“Ordinarily, a rock concert with its massive sound, complex lighting and special effects, emits tons of carbon into the atmosphere using energy from the national grid,” says Neutral Fuels founder and chief executive Karl Feilder.

“Rock the World – Save the Planet is different. It will achieve net zero carbon emissions by using Neutral Fuels B100 net zero biofuel to power the entire event.”

“Ordinarily, a rock concert with its massive sound, complex lighting and special effects, emits tons of carbon into the atmosphere using energy from the national grid”

A recent report revealed the use of diesel generators to power live music events in the UK alone produces over one million tons of CO2 equivalent a year.

By partnering with One Tree Planted, the Neutral Fuels team hopes to neutralise “all unavoidable carbon expended on behalf of the event”, such as flights for bands, by planting trees to absorb emissions. Fans are encouraged to use public transport to travel to the event.

DGrade will collect all plastic used at the event to convert into sustainable yarn for producing clothes and accessories.

The event will feature performances from Filipino rock band Urbandub, pop rock bands Cueshé and Razorback and Dubai rock cover band Sandstorm, featuring Neutral Fuels’ Feilder.

Tickets are priced from AED125 (US$28) and are available to buy here.

 


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Report: UK festivals use 380m litres of diesel a year

A recent report has revealed the public health impact of the UK festival and events industry, detailing the level of diesel emissions and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) produced by events each year.

Environmental sustainability management company Hope Solutions and power management specialists ZAP Concepts worked together with event industry professionals to produce the report in the run up to this year’s air pollution-focused World Environment Day on 5 June.

“Our findings show event sites in green spaces have worse air quality than inner-city areas, indicating a huge hidden contributor to the growing public health epidemic from air pollution,” says Hope Solutions director Luke Howell.

“We are releasing this report to open up the conversation with the industry to effect positive and practical change without diminishing customer experience. For the organisers, every litre of diesel not used is saving money and contributing to the fight against climate change.”

The emissions from the 380m litres of diesels used to power events release 1.2m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the unit used to express the impact of each greenhouse gas in relation to CO2. This is approximately the same level of emissions as the European island country of Malta releases per year.

The environmental impact of the diesel emissions is equivalent to adding 220,000 additional cars to the roads every day.

“The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet”

The report suggests that diesel consumption could be reduced by up to 40% on average at each event, with some being able to avoid diesel use altogether through renewables and hybrid battery technologies.

Using mains or grid power can also negate the need for generators but, states the report, is often overlooked and under utilised, especially in urban areas.

The use of more efficient generators would also help to reduce emissions. Monitoring shows that diesel generators are often running well under full capacity, with efficiency ratings of between 10 and 20%.

ZAP Concepts UK head of operations, Rob Scully, says that events could reduce consumption “without risking any loss of power, any blackouts or any detrimental effect on the quality of the events.”

Scully states that “Venue managers and event managers should take professional advice in order to properly direct their power contractor and ensure that available power is matched to actual demand and where possible introduce renewables and other alternatives.

“The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet.”

The report draws on data collected by A Greener Festival, Julie’s Bicycle and Powerful Thinking, as well as 20 million data points of electronic monitoring, analysed by ZAP. The full report is available to read online here.

 


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AEG targets zero carbon emissions by 2050

AEG has announced its intention to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero by 2050.

The company, whose divisions include promoter AEG Presents and venue operator AEG Facilities, announced yesterday, on Earth Day 2019 (22 April), that it has revised its previous goal – to reduce emissions by 25%, or approximately 3.2% per year between 2010 and 2020 – in response to the Global Warming of 1.5˚C report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

AEG’s adoption of the new 1.5˚C-based goal will require the company to reduce its total emissions by 33% from 2010 to 2020, and to follow IPCC’s guidance to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

“We are committed to leading the way toward change and continuing to help draw attention to this serious issue by doing more to ensure the safety of our world,” says John Marler, vice-president of energy and environment for AEG.

“We are committed to leading the way toward change”

“Today’s announcement builds on that commitment to further drive improvements in our global operations wherever possible.”

Marler adds that “meeting our current 2020 GHG goal is critical as it reflects the level of reductions required to achieve this longer-term targets.”

Elsewhere, AEG has released its 2019 Sustainability Report, which outlines progress toward its set of 2020 GHG, water conservation and waste reduction goals.

“While we are pleased with the work we have done to date, we recognise that much more work needs to be done,” continues Marler. “In addition to adopting our new 1.5˚C target for GHG emissions, we continue to look for ways to reduce potable water at water-stressed sites by 4.4% per year and diverting 70% of waste from landfill across all AEG operations.”

 


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Joss Stone performs in North Korea on world tour

British singer Joss Stone has performed at a bar in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, as part of her effort to play in every country in the world.

Stone announced the visit as part of her Total world tour, which began in 2014 and is due to end later this year. The tour has already taken Stone to over 175 countries, including Venezuela, Syria, Iraq and the Palestinian territories.

The singer says Simon Cockerell, general manager of North Korean tour operator Koryo Tours, helped her get into the isolated country.

Stone performed to an audience of tourists and tour guides, and later met the British ambassador to North Korea, Colin Crooks.

Stone describes the Total tour as a “musical and social project that aims to bring people together and create joy through music.”

The singer is aiming to balance the carbon emissions associated with travel for her tour,  investing in renewable energy and reforestation in India with the support of Energy Revolution, a festival industry collaboration tackling climate change.

 


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Joss Stone balancing her tour’s carbon emissions

Joss Stone has become one of the first major artists to attempt to balance her carbon emissions from international touring.

Partnering with Energy Revolution, a charity set up to address the biggest source of CO₂ emissions in the live music sector – audience and artist travel – Stone has so far balanced 2.7 million travel miles by donating towards wind-power generation and reforestation in Tamil Nadu, India. Investing in renewables in India, explains the organisation, has a far greater impact than investing in, say, the UK, as India’s power stations emit twice the carbon of UK power stations due to their fuel mix.

“My Total world tour is a musical and social project that aims to bring people together and create joy through music,” comments Stone (pictured). “We are doing something positive with our music so it’s right that we must do something positive from our travel footprint, which is an unfortunate consequence of the tour and live music in general.

“We are doing something positive with our music so it’s right that we must do something positive from our travel footprint”

“I would love other artists and music audiences to balance their travel so we can improve the footprint of musicians and live music in general.”

Stone’s Total world tour kicked off on in 2014 and ends in late 2019. Her aim is to visit every country in the world while balancing the emissions associated with this travel.

Her next shows are at Vicar Street in Dublin, the Ulster Hall in Belfast, the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, St David’s Hall in Cardiff and the Royal Festival Hall in London.

 


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