Live Earth is back and aims once again to put the subject of climate change before a world-wide audience of 2 billion people. The event which last happened in 2007 returns and promises 100 artists in seven shows on Thursday 18th June 2015.
Founded by producer Kevin Wall, in partnership with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Live Earth hopes to once again highlight a global movement aimed at solving the most critical environmental issues.
Today Pharrell Williams and Al Gore announced what they hope to be the largest global campaign in history, and revealed the concerts will take place across all seven continents – including Antarctica. There are no acts confirmed for the events.
Among the acts who appeared in 2007 were Genesis, the Black Eyed Peas, Metallica, the Beastie Boys, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, the Police, Angélique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, Linkin Park, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, and MIA.
It's thought that the event will feature co-ordinated film, music and television events in the seven locations with the European concert being hosted by the Stade de France in Paris ahead of the 2015 UN climate change conference in the French capital, scheduled for December. Other locations will be New York, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, a venue in China, and a band will play from Antarctica to account for the seventh continent.
Each event will last from four to six hours, "The purpose is to have a billion voices with one message, to demand climate action now," Mr Gore, told the World Economic Forum in Davos, at the launch of the event.
The aim is not just to drive awareness but to get people to take action - last time these included personal pledges to reduce emissions, for instance by using energy efficient equipment or flying less.
The news comes soon after scientists updated a list of nine boundaries where human activities are pushing the Earth beyond what is safe. Revealing that four out of nine boundaries have already been surpassed, and that if the trend continues there is a risk of the planet’s balance being toppled which would mean that we would have to adapt to an entirely different Earth.
Among the four boundaries already surpassed is the climate, and we already are in the risk zone, since the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has exceeded the limit value of 350 ppm (parts per million). This could lead to temperature changes on Earth that could have consequences for animal and plant life, wind conditions, ocean currents, ocean water levels, etc.
Already the 10 warmest global years since records began in the 19th century have happened since 1997, and last week two US government studies showed 2014 was Earth's hottest on record, fuelling a devastating series of extreme storms. Last year also saw the first climate change refugees as the people of Tuvalu in the Pacific left their sinking island nation.
Governments agreed in December last year in Lima on the building blocks of a new-style global deal to combat climate change amid warnings that far tougher action will be needed to limit increases in global temperatures. Instead of action the outcome of most of the decisions were postponed until the Paris talks.
However, against this hope are many of the world's major oil and energy companies who lobbied representatives heavily, including our own government, to vote against adopting green policies. There's a possibility that the low cost of oil and the potential for fraking is part of a concerted effort to block governments paying for more expensive green alternatives.
Whist what we can do ourselves is minor compared to the action of governments. The amount of energy a person or business uses can be reduced by a significant amount by a few simple measures - and save money too! Turn your heating down just a little, and put on warmer clothes; turn your TV off properly (don't leave it on 'stand-by'), and unplug your chargers when not in use; fill the kettle with just the water you need; turn lights off, and use low-energy bulbs; and think about whether all your journeys are really necessary, and whether they could be made using public transport, or bicycle, or by walking.
eFestivals is carbon neutral. This is our future - the longer we each take to act, the more there is to be done.
latest on this festival
festival home page
but will the the world's major oil and energy companies listen?