European Festival Awards – the nominees are revealed

Disco Ball World RecordThe shortlist for the European Festival Awards has been revealed. More than 800,000 votes were cast by fans from 50 different countries for the 7th edition. And those nominees are:

Best Major Festival in association with Charge Candy

Deichbrand Festival (Germany)

Dour Festival (Belgium)

Exit Festival (Serbia)

Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium)

Mysteryland (Netherlands)

Pinkpop (Netherlands)

Rock Werchter (Belgium)

Sziget Festival (Hungary)

Tomorrowland (Belgium)

Untold Festival (Romania)


Best Medium-Sized Festival in association with Eventbrite

Wish Outdoor (Netherlands)

Telekom Volt Festival (Hungary)

Solar Weekend (Netherlands)

Sea Dance Festival (Montenegro)

Positivus Festival (Latvia)

Open Air St. Gallen (Switzerland)

Main Square Festival (France)

Lovefest (Serbia)

Les Ardentes (Belgium)

Electric Castle Festival (Romania)


Best Small Festival

Amsterdam Woods (Netherlands)

B My Lake (Hungary)

Festival Tauron Nowa Muzyka (Poland)

Happiness Festival (Germany)

Into The Great Wide Open (Netherlands)

Jazz In The Park (Romania)

Mini-Rock Festival (Germany)

Plai (Romania)

Vestrock (Netherlands)

Your’In Festival (Belgium)


Best New Festival

Amsterdam Woods (Netherlands)

Creamfields Ibiza (Spain)

I Love Techno Europe (France)

Krakow Live Festival (Poland)

Lollapalooza Berlin (Germany)

Parookaville (Germany)

Untold Festival (Romania)


Best Indoor Festival

Hideout Festival (Croatia)

Incubate Festival (Netherlands)

Le Printemps De Bourges (France)

Les Heures Ind (Belgium)

Les Transardentes (Belgium)

Lokerse Feesten (Belgium)

Mayday (Germany)

[Pias Nites] (Various Countries)

Progpower Europe (Netherlands)

TIMAF (Romania)


Festival Anthem Of The Year

Alt-J – Let Hand Free

Florence + The Machine – Ship To Wreck

Hozier – Take Me To Church

Major Lazor – Lean On

Pattie Smith – People Got The Power

Rudimental – Never Let You Go

Tame Impala – Let It Happen

The Prodigy – Day Is My Enemy

Wanda – Amore

Years and Years – King


Newcomer Of The Year in association with Eurosonic Noorderslag




Jack Garratt

James Bay

Kate Tempest

Royal Blood

Run the Jewels

Wolf Alice

Years & Years


Best Headliner


Chemical Brothers

Florence & the Machine

Foo Fighters

Kendrick Lamar

Kylie Minogue



Robbie Williams

The Prodigy


Best Line Up

Best Kept Secret (Netherlands)

Glastonbury (United Kingdom)

Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium)

La Route Du Rock (France)

Lollapalooza Berlin (Germany)

Oya Festivalen (Norway)

Primavera Sound Festival (Spain)

Rock Werchter (Belgium)

Roskilde (Denmark)

Sziget (Hungary)


Artists’ Favourite Festival

BBK Live (Spain)

Best Kept Secret (Netherlands)

Exit Festival (Serbia)

Highfield (Germany)

Latitude (United Kingdom)

Les Viellies Charues (France)

Lowlands (Netherlands)

Pukkelpop (Belgium)

Rock Werchter (Denmark)

Sziget (Hungary)


Promoter Of The Year in association with Bucks New University

Green Man Team (United Kingdom)

Ejekt (Greece)

Festival Republic (United Kingdom)

FKP Scorpio (Germany)

Hörstmann Unternehmensgruppe (Germany)

ICS (Germany)

From The Fields (United Kingdom)

Live Nation (United Kingdom)

Live Nation (Belgium)

Primavera (Spain)


Agent of the Year

Emma Banks (CAA)

Alex Bruford (ATC Live)

Isla Angus (Earth Agency)

Jason Edwards (Coda)

Mike Greek (CAA)

Natasha Bent (United Artists)

Nick Matthews (Coda)

Rob Challice (Coda)

Solomon Parker (Coda)

Tom Schroeder (Coda)


Green Operations Award in association with Yourope and the GO Group

Ieper Hardcore Fest (Belgium)

Off Festival (Poland)

Open Air St. Gallen (Switzerland)

Shambala (United Kingdom)

Tollwood Festival (Germany)


The shortlist of the YES Group Health & Safety Innovation Award will be announced on the night of the award ceremony along with the winners of the Excellence and Passion Award and the Yourope Lifetime Achievement Award (in association with PlayPass and PayPal)

Sustainability Leaders Awards 2015: The Winners


Sustainable Business of the Year – Willmott Dixon

Sustainability Leader – Estelle Brachlianoff, Veolia

Carbon Management – National Grid

Energy Management – Heathrow Airport

Employee Engagement & Behaviour Change – Tesco with Global Action Plan

Sustainability Product Innovation – Genesis Biosciences

slawinnersSustainability Product Innovation: Energy Efficiency – Lontra

Sustainability Professional – Anthony Kingsley, Vacherin

Sustainable Business Models – Mud Jeans

Sustainability Reporting – Marks & Spencer

Sustainable Packaging – LINPAC Packaging

Sustainable Supply Chains – KPMG

Waste & Resource Management – DS Smith

Water Management – Southern Water


parigi-570x350On November 29th at 12.00 noon in London we have the best moment of the decade to pressure our leaders to avoid catastrophic climate change. Together we can rise to the challenge and make this the biggest climate mobilisation ever. If you’d like a free t-shirt to wear at the LONDON march, please click here:

blackfishFinally, it’s a move we have all been waiting impatiently for: SeaWorld San Diego is to pull the plug on its orca show. Announced online Monday in a document posted by the company, SeaWorld has said that as of next year, its killer whale performances will be phased out. But unfortunately, that does not mean an end to orcas in captivity: These acts will be replaced with some kind of educational experience involving the animals, albeit supposedly in a more true-to-life setting. As before, SeaWorld claims that the intention is to inform and inspire, not treat the intelligent mammals as circus animals. The decision follows a series of blows to the organization. SeaWorld quickly fell out of favor after the release of a harrowing documentary film called Blackfish, which exposed the dark truth of the supposedly conservation-centered industry. Although there were many who argued that the documentary was inaccurate and misleading, the message spoke to people and there was a large amount of public backlash. Just six months after a publication demonstrated that orcas in captivity do not live as long as their wild counterparts, the state of California banned the captive breeding of these animals in October of this year. As part of this long-overdue ruling, SeaWorld San Diego was given the green light for a $100 million (£65 million) expansion to its killer whale tanks, although the company said they would still battle the California Coastal Commission’s decision. Now it seems they have finally backed down, and instead will invest a chunk of this money on developing a resort in the park in collaboration with Evans Hotels. orcaWhile this is fantastic news, the fight is certainly not over yet. Other states still permit the captive breeding of orcas, so until this practice is stamped out completely, we can expect to see the exploitation of these animals for entertainment purposes. SeaWorld is moving forward with plans for a Middle East expansion, the company has said. “We are making progress,” CEO Joel Manby said of the plans during a third-quarter earnings call with investors. “I don’t want anyone to think they’ve stopped.” He added that the company’s yet-unnamed partners on the project had traveled to Orlando, Florida, for a meeting last month. SeaWorld announced last year that they were looking into opening a new location in the Middle East, which has less of a stigma against whales in captivity, following a downturn in U.S. attendance and continued backlash over the alleged mistreatment of their orcas. and reports that it is “difficult to say” whether or not the UK will hit its 2020 renewable energy targets, according to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, after a leaked letter revealed there could be a massive shortfall. The UK has legally-binding targets to source 15% of the UK’s final energy consumption from renewable sources in 2020. Within that goal, the UK has set itself subtargets of 30% of electricity from renewables, 12% of heat, and 10% of transport fuel. However, in a letter sent by Rudd to fellow cabinet members, and leaked to the Ecologist, Rudd reveals she expects the UK to miss its targets by around 25%, equivalent to a 50 TWh shortfall. By comparison, the entire renewable electricity output in Q2 2015 was less than 20 TWh. More than three quarters of the UK public support the use of renewable energy, according to the latest opinion poll from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The newest edition of DECC’s quarterly Public Attitudes Tracking survey questioned a representative sample of 2,121 households in the UK, with 76% saying they “support” the use of renewable energy for providing electricity, fuel and heat. Just 5% of respondents “oppose” renewables.  Public support for green energy has never fallen below 75% since the survey was first taken in March 2012. Up to 84% of the British public would like to see subsidies given to programmes that reduce energy waste, according to a new poll by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU). The ComRes poll of more than 2,000 British adults found that 79% currently support subsidies insulating homes and 77% support subsidies for measures that cut energy waste in power transmission.

A major glacier in Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by half a metre has begun to crumble into the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists say. The huge Zachariae Isstrom glacier in northeast Greenland started to melt rapidly in 2012 and is now breaking up into large icebergs where the glacier meets the sea, monitoring has revealed. The calving of the glacier into chunks of floating ice will set in train a rise in sea levels that will continue for decades to come, the US team warns.

The EU has warned the Obama administration that a global climate deal at the Paris summit must be legally binding, after the US secretary of state John Kerry said that it “definitively” would not be a treaty. “The Paris agreement must be an international legally binding agreement,” a spokeswoman for the EU’s climate commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete , told the Guardian. “The title of the agreement is yet to be decided but it will not affect its legally binding form.”

beesThe European Food and Safety Authority (Efsa) has removed barriers to the relicensing of glyphosate, a best-selling herbicide, despite World Health Organisation (WHO) warnings that the substance is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. The ruling opens the door to a new 10-year licence for glyphosate across Europe, although the authority set a threshold for exposure to the substance of of 0.5mg per kg of body weight for the first time. “Glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans and the evidence does not support classification with regard to its carcinogenic potential,” the Efsa assessment found. And Friends of the Earth (FoE) have lost their High Court battle in the UK to stop permission being granted for farmers to drill oil seed rape coated with two neonicotinoid pesticides this autumn. Enviroment Secretary Liz Truss had earlier usedher powers to partially lift a EU ban.

Warmer seas are making sharks less aggressive and smaller. Scientists in Australia who studies the Port Jackson shark said that warmer seas and ocean acidification reduced shark’s ability to smell and hunt.

The 15 operational carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects worldwide will capture 28 million tonnes of carbon this year alone, a new report from the Global CCS Institute has found. According to the report,  global CCS schemes will store and capture 40 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2017, when 22 projects will be online. This has the same reduction effects as removing eight million cars from the road.

Eight of the world’s 10 most polluting countries are expected to double their collective renewable energy capacity in the next 15 years, a new study from the World Resources Institute (WRI) has found. WRI’s analysis, Assessing the Post-2020 Clean Energy Landscape, looks at plans from eight of the 10 largest greenhouse gas emitters — Brazil, China, the EU, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and the US — concluding that their cumulative clean energy supply will jump from approximately 9,000 TWh in 2012 to 20,000 TWh in 2030.

640px-FHM-Orchestra-mk2006-03 (1)England’s arts and culture sector has saved 12,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and £2.3m in the last two years thanks to an ambitious sustainability programme organized by Arts Council England and green charity Julie’s Bicycle. More than 700 arts and cultural organisations have signed up to the Environmental Sustainability Partnership programme, which requires participants to track their energy and water usage and implement an up-to-date environmental action plan. 98% of reporting Arts Council funded organisations (700) were involved by 2015 compared to 14% in 2012. According to an update on the programme, emissions from the sector fell by 5% a year since 2012, despite overall growth. “The results indicate that the country’s arts and cultural sector is now leading in sustainable behaviour change,” reads a statement from Art Council England and Julies Bicycle. More here and on the Julie’s Bicycle website here.

A new European Commission initiative, to be launched next year, will make it easier for smaller energy efficiency projects, such as building renovations, to get EU funding. The plan, “a matter of priority”, is mentioned in a leaked draft of the executive’s forthcoming State of the Energy Union report. It is being finalised after EU leaders broadly agreed the Energy Union strategy to bolster the EU’s resistance to shortages and fight against climate change. According to the draft report – which could feed into future legislation – most member states need to “accelerate their ambition levels” to hit their 2020 goals.

Safely obtained biogas from human waste could generate electricity to power all of the households in in Indonesia, Brazil, and Ethiopia combined, if researchers can harness the correct innovative technologies. That’s according to a new report from UN University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, which estimates that biogas extracted from worldwide human waste could have a value of up to $9.5bn as a natural gas equivalent. The Valuing Human Waste as an Energy Resource report states: “Rather than treating our waste as a major liability, with proper controls in place we can use it in several circumstances to build innovative and sustained financing for development while protecting health and improving our environment in the process.” The report notes that dried fecal matter – which releases biogas that is approximately 60% methane by volume when broken down in an anaerobic system – has energy content similar to coal and charcoal and could replace up to two million tonnes of charcoal-equivalent fuel, preventing deforestation.

The first mass production hydrogen cars, billed for more than a decade as a clean alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles but only glimpsed as concepts at automotive trade shows, have arrived on British roads. Leading the charge are South Korean manufacturer Hyundai, with a £53,000 “crossover” – a squashed SUV that looks like a normal car, and the world’s biggest carmaker, Toyota, with a futuristically styled saloon priced at £66,000. Honda has promised to launch its model in the UK during 2017.

It is now harder for UK citizens to hold government and polluters accountable for damaging the environment than it is for people in China, the head of a leading environmental law firm has told the Guardian. Changes to the costs and administration of environmental legal challenges in the UK could potentially “chill the ability of citizens to bring cases” to protect the environment, said James Thornton, chief executive of NGO ClientEarth, ahead of delivering the annual Garner lecture to a host of environmental leaders on Wednesday. In the lecture, Thornton will criticise government proposals to dramatically increase the amount for which charities and individuals are liable if they lose an environmental case deemed to be in the public interest.

BBChuwSupermarket Morrisons’ efforts to encourage customers to buy wonkier-shaped vegetables have been branded “pathetic” by the chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The BBC show Hugh’s War on Waste  saw the broadcaster giving away oversized and curvy parsnips outside a Morrisons branch in Wimbledon, to highlight the food waste he says is caused by supermarkets’ excessively exacting cosmetic standards. In response the supermarket undertook a trial of selling wonky courgettes alongside so-called ‘class one’ courgettes, but found the ‘ugly’ ones sold much more slowly.   “When you see the frankly pathetic little trial that Morrisons did with those courgettes, where they put some really substandard squashy ended ones in one pile next to some gleaming perfect ones at the same price, would you believe, people went for the really lovely ones? That’s not what we’re asking supermarkets to do,” Fearnley-Whittingstall told the Guardian in an interview. A Morrisons’ spokesman said customers had “voted with their feet”, and the only wonky veg that sold well in a trial in its Milton Keynes store was when bagged up and sold at a reduced price as a ‘value’ option. However the company told the Guardian that before the end of the year it would begin permanently selling lines of wonky potatoes, carrots, onions and parsnips at cheaper-than-normal prices across its stores. Image: Photograph: Alex Hudson/Keo Films/BBC.

The Crystal is a new all electric building that uses solar power and a ground source heat pump to generate its own power. The Wilkinson-Eyre designed building showcases state of the art technology to make buildings more efficient and acts as a hub for debate on sustainable urban living. The venue’s energy management system, designed by Siemens, controls all of the electrical and mechanical systems in the building – including the 17KM of piping used for the ground source heat pumps – and 60% of outgoing heat or cooling energy is recovered. The venue has no heating costs – and uses special glass to manage temperatures both in summer and winter, and specially designed lighting to reduce power use.

My detergent product is green, but don’t tell anyone

methodPeople usually like to flash badges and the like, to let the world know when they enjoy some special status. Presumably, the same should hold true for products. If my product has a certifiably desirable characteristic, one would think that I will want to let consumers know about my blessings. Ah – if only the world of brands were so simple. One of the basic components of a brand is that it is meant to send a message to the consumer, which will hopefully resonate with the consumer and lead to a product preference. It is usually the mark itself, as part of the overall brand, which serves as the short-form means for communicating this message. There are instances, however, where an additional sign, such as the form of a third-party certification, may also be applied to a product — but where product owner may choose to forego boasting that his product meets the certifiable standard.

The uneasy branding case for the commercial value of certification was recently discussed in an article that appeared in The Economiston 26 September. Entitled “Green wash: Eco-friendly detergents”, the piece described the aspirations of a Chicago-based company, Method, to become, in the words of one of its founders, “the most sustainable and the most socially beneficial company in the world.” In particular, the company produces detergents and soaps that appear to cause no harm to the environment. The bottles used are 100 per cent recycled plastic, while the company website discloses all of the ingredients, which are themselves subject to review by an environmental research company as well as a non-profit organization, Cradle to Cradle, that provides certification.

So how does Method stack up against its competitors? According to the article, major detergent challengers such as Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and Clorox have so cleaned up their own products that they are apparently, in the main, eligible for the United States EPA (Environmental Protective Agency) seal of approval as well as for eco-labels from several well-regarded certifiers. However, companies of this type tend not to apply for such eco-labels. Not only that, but many do not provide information about how and why their products and the process of their manufacturer are now greener. The suggested upshot is that, while there may not be a significant environmental difference between the products of Method and those of its competitors, consumers may not have any clue that this is the case.

ecolabelAnd so the question is why such companies forego providing an eco-label and other information about their products. At least part of the explanation seems connected with the size of the current market for which an eco-label and the like may be competitively advantageous. The article states there is ever-increasing consumer interest in buying a green cleaning product, rising from 20% percent in 2010 to almost 30% in 2014. As for price, in 2014, a survey revealed that nearly 30% of consumers would be prepared to pay up to 20% more for a greener cleaning product. Both Method and the consumer product giants can find support for their respective positions on eco-labels based on these data. Let us start with the consumer product giants. While the trend is in favour of greener products, the data suggest that the majority of consumers remain uninterested about whether the cleaning product is environmentally sound, and even less interested in being willing to pay a premium. In the words of the article:

“… the majority are still more interested in how much they [the cleaning products] cost and how well they work. The soap giants have perfected their advertising messages over decades to concentrate on these factors, and are loth to change a successful formula.”

From such a vantage, there is no commercial place, it would seem, for the eco-label.

organic foodAs for a company such as Method, the data would appear to offer an attractive (and growing) niche market, where eco-labels are a central part of the branding message. While the article does not explicitly discuss price points, Method may also enjoy a higher price point for its product (this Kat thinks of the organic food shop around the corner, which seem to combine an array of similarly placed niche products-some with eco-labels, at an elevated price point that leaves Mrs. Kat with a dilemma: “Should I or shouldn’t I?”). Still, given the trends set out in the data, this Kat cannot help but speculate what will happen when a majority of consumers will prefer a greener cleaning product. Should this occur, it would seem that the eco-label would no longer be simply “nice to have”, but a prerequisite for all those who wish to compete in this market. How such changes will require the consumer product giants to find a new branding message, on the one hand, and challenge a company such as Method to compete as a mainstream, rather than as a niche player, on the other, are worthy of further consideration.

Written by Neil Wilkof for The IPKat on 11/12/2015

AGF team up with Manchester Metropolitan University for a sustainable events day

MMUWe have teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University for a ‘sold out’ one day conference in Manchester on December 2nd for 200 final year event management students and invited industry guests . It’s a packed day, and we are delighted to have the support of campsite waste campaigners Love Your Tent and food salvage experts 8th Plate as well as industry leaders from Powerful Thinking and Firefly Solar to talk about sustainble power. On top of this we have leading experts from The Glastonbury Festival, Kendal Calling, The Hay Literary Festival and Shambala to talk about best practice and new ideas. The conference agenda looks like this:

09.25  Introduction & Welcome    Shaun Litler (MMU)

09.30   Andy Fryers, Hay Literary Festival: Juggling the Four Balls of Sustainability

10.15   Helen Innes, A Greener Festival:  Introducing Sustainability at Events

10.45 – 11.00am Comfort Break

11.00  Ben Challis, Glastonbury Festival / A Greener Festival: Events, The Environment and The Law

11.30  Questions with Andy Hay, Helen Innes and Ben Challis  (chaired by Shaun Litler)

12.00pm – 13.00pm Lunch

a-greener-festival (1)13.00   Rob Scully, Glastonbury Festival & Kendal Calling: Presentation: Glastonbury: Love the Farm, Leave No Trace & The Green Fields of Kendal Calling

13.30   Emma Dyer, 8th Plate, the food waste project: Food for Thought

13.45  Juliet Ross Kelly, Love Your Tent: The Solutions to Campsite Waste

14.00   Chris Johnson, Shambala Festival:  Powerful Thinking – the energy efficient, low carbon and cost effective future for festivals

14.15  Tim Benson, Firefly: Sustainable Power For Your Event

14.35 – 15.00 Break

15.00  Panel: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Tackling Waste at Events : Chaired by Shaun Litler with Chris Johnson (Shambala), Rob Scully (Glastonbury Festival), Emma Dyer (8th Plate), Juliet Ross Kelly (Love Your Tent) and Andy Fryers (Hay Literary Festival).

16.00 Closing remarks with Shaun Litler & Ben Challis

Many thanks to all of our friends for the making of what looks like being a very exciting and informative day!

PinkLOVEYOURTENT_logo (1)FIREFLYShambalogoColPowerfulThinking-72dpi-cmykkendal-logo-coloureighthplateHayGlastonbury_Logo


greatapesWe are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing for us right now.” David Attenborough, Population Matters Patron.

2015 is likely to be the hottest year ever recorded, with averages temperatures between 0.8 and 0.9C above normal. The figures from the UK’s Met Office, NASA and the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration will be formally published this week. Separate research also whowed that CO2 levels averaged 401 ppm (parts per milllio) this year, the first time it has topped 400ppm, and up from 250ppm in pre-industrial times. Temperatures around the world have averaged 1.02C above the 1850-1900 period between January and September this year, the Met Office said. With an “El Nino” climate phenomenon in the Pacific, which pushes up temperatures, developing on top of warming caused by greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere by humans, 2015 as a whole is set to be 1C above pre-industrial levels.

Britain should put its clocks forward by two hours, thats according to Lord Debden, chair of the giovernment’s committee on climate chage. The move would align the UK more closely with the rising and setting of the sun, and so save considerabkle energy, and would also mean the UK was NOT aligned with Europe, meaning it could benefit from ‘spare’ energy as times of peak demand would not overlap with the mainland – in an increasingly interconnected energy market.

Academics at Western Sydney University say that global warming will inflict far more suffering on women than on men because they are more vulnerabke to floods, droughts and diseases that are expected to increase with global warming.  On reason is that in developing countries, social structures mean women are more likely to be in their homes when disaster strikes, and women are less likely to have learned to swim in poorer countries and in some patriachal societies women may not be able to leave home without a male. Women also suffer more when there is famile and water shortages, and women are also deprived of education which may save lifes. 90% of the 150,000 pepole killed in the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone were women. reports that banking giant Goldman Sachs has announced it will leverage $150bn into clean energy financing and investments by 2025 as it also aims to become the first US investment bank to be carbon-neutral across its operations. The bank has unveiled an ambitious new roadmap for its continued environmental progress that will develop a number of new sustainability targets as part its Environmental Policy Framework. The $150bn investment expands on the existing $40bn target set in 2012.

african-elephant2A new system of ivory fingerprinting will help track down poachers who are slaughtering huge numbers of Africa’s elephant population. Kings College London and University College London have created a new technique to retrieve fingerprints using an advanced for of powder.

The Scottish Government has granted consent for the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm to be developed off the coast of Peterhead. Oil and gas giant Statoil will build a 30MW pilot park consisting of five floating 6MW turbines. The project could eventually generate 135GWh of electricity a year, enough to power nearly 20,000 homes. The project will be the UK’s first ever floating wind farm development, with construction set to start next year. And permission has been granted to put steel in water for what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm off the coast of Cumbria. Danish utilities DONG Energy has received the final investment decision from authorities to construct the 660MW Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea, which will deliver electricity to more than 460,000 UK homes. DONG Energy’s executive vice president Samuel Leupold said: “Walney Extension will deliver clean electricity to more than 460,000 UK homes and I’m very glad that we can now start construction of what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm when completed. More here.

The Scottish Government initiative Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has announced the eight successful applicants that will share a £2.5m fund to advance their technologies in the build up to commercialisation. A tube-like wave train, an automatically inflatable conversion machine, and an anaconda-like tube are among the projects receiving around £300,000 each to improve performance and efficiency levels.

DoughnutchartwildlifeThe Guardian reports that the number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found. “If half the animals died in London zoo next week it would be front page news,” said Professor Ken Norris, ZSL’s director of science. “But that is happening in the great outdoors. This damage is not inevitable but a consequence of the way we choose to live.” He said nature, which provides food and clean water and air, was essential for human wellbeing. “We have lost one half of the animal population and knowing this is driven by human consumption, this is clearly a call to arms and we must act now,” said Mike Barratt, director of science and policy at WWF. He said more of the Earth must be protected from development and deforestation, while food and energy had to be produced sustainably. The report concludes that today’s average global rate of consumption would need 1.5 planet Earths to sustain it. But four planets would be required to sustain US levels of consumption, or 2.5 Earths to match UK consumption levels.

Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012A global shift to 100% renewables is not just cleaner – it’s about equality: Thisis what the fossil fuel lobby does NOT want you to know. Communities in Germany, Canada and Uganda are already reaping the benefits of moving away from fossil fuels to more decentralised energy systems. And these include ECONOMIC benefits. “As the world’s energy system shifts from fossil fuels to renewable sources, the question is no longer if the world will transition to sustainable energy, but how long it will take and whether the transition can be made in ways that maximise the benefits today and for future generations. Changing our energy system is about more than replacing fossil resources with sun and wind. In fact, the economic model for renewables is completely different: 100% renewable energy can lead us to a more equal distribution of wealth. The differences start in the way our energy system is structured. The fossil fuel-based energy system is characterised by complex, centralised infrastructures where the fuel is transported to the power plant, and energy production and distribution is controlled by very few entities. The supply chain is vertical, and the benefits are shared only among a few stakeholders”. Read the article on the GUARDIAN here.

Apple, Google, SABMiller and Unilever have been ranked as some of the best-performing companies in promoting low-carbon outputs, according to a new report from the international non-profit CDP. With just three weeks to go until the COP21 talks in Paris, CDP released its Climate Change Report on behalf of 822 investors representing $95trn. The report also includes the 2015 A-List, which highlights companies identified as A-grade for their actions to combat climate change. Large British-based companies Diageo, Sainsbury’s and Carillion all received the highest grade on the list, based on their carbon initiatives and the transparency of their reporting. says that notable by its absence in CDP’s analysis is Facebook, which failed to disclose information to investors. Around 55% of listed companies did not respond to CDP’s disclosure request.

G20 and EU finance ministers have been urged to ‘step-up’ their efforts to arrange a strong agreement at the COP21 UN climate conference next month, by a group of leading international business organisations. A letter penned by the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group has urged ministers to play an active role in supporting the negotiations by creating conditions that allow for a smooth and rapid transition into a low carbon and climate resilient economy. The signatories wrote: “As ministers of finance and the economy, you play a critical role, both in delivering a robust deal at the COP21 summit in Paris and in successfully translating the deal into domestic action. We are therefore asking for your personal support.” French president François Hollande claimed China and France had taken a “historic” step towards tackling climate change  after the two countries agreed any deal reached in Paris next month should include checks on whether signatories are keeping their commitments to reduce emissions. In a joint statement released weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference, China and France said such progress should be reviewed every five years in order to “reinforce mutual confidence and promote efficient implementation”.

rejectandprotectvictory-r100-790x952In the year’s biggest victory for U.S. environmentalists, President Barack Obama announced that he will reject an application from Canadian company TransCanada to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline, which would allow crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to reach ports and refineries in the US, has been a major controversy for Obama ever since he took office. The White House spent years deliberating on the issue. During that time, environmental groups accused Obama of not backing up his rhetoric on climate change with real action, and Republicans in Congress accused him of blocking a job-creating infrastructure project. In his announcement today, the president said the State Department’s analysis had shown the pipeline would not significantly benefit the US economy: “The State Department has decided that the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States. I agree with that decision,” Obama said. Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network KXL Campaign Organizer said: “This is a tremendous victory for all the pipeline fighters who have spent several years fighting the TransCanada “black snake”, Keystone XL! The President’s decision is a clear affirmation of our struggle to defend the sacredness of Mother Earth and to protect the future generations of all our relatives, human and non-human alike. We celebrate this as a win and a powerful step to the greater goals of keeping fossil fuels in the ground and shutting down the tar sands at the source!” Harold Frazier, Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said “On behalf of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe we are grateful to President Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and give thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. We must continue to fight this war against tar sands. We need to stay united with all our Native brothers and sisters here in Canada, and around the world to stop the pollution of our water so our young people can grow up to live good healthy lives.”

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The Festival Congress Awards – the winners!

Blissfields pick up their 2015 Award

Blissfields pick up their 2015 Award

And the winners of the FESTIVAL CONGRESS AWARDS announced last night in Cardiff are …….

New Festival on the Block – Camp Wildfire

Unique Festival Arena – The Hidden Hedge at Blissfields

Live Act of the Year – Slaves

Mind Blowing Spectacle – Boomtown’s Palace at Boomtown Fair

Best Smart Marketing – Boomtown Fair’s Spoof videos

Festival Journalist of the year- Simon Godley (God Is In The TV)

Innovative use of Technology – Shambala’s bitcoin payments

Unsung hero – Chris Tofu from Continental Drifts/Global Local