Monthly Archives: July 2011

ØYA will go ahead

After the terrible terrible tragedy in Norway, the organisers of Øya Festival have confirmed that the Oslo event will go ahead.

Festival director Claes Olsen told CMU Daily “The last few days have been heavy and unreal. Our thoughts go out to everyone who has lost someone or in some other way has been affected by the tragedy in the centre of Oslo and at Utøya. We send our condolences and compassion to the people who are struggling right now. These are times for mourning and reflection, and we know that many will now have to use all their time and energy on working through what has happened”. He continued: “In the midst of all this, we find it important that our city and its citizens shall not be broken by what happened this weekend. Organisers of concerts and events in Oslo have jointly agreed that this shall not stop us. The police, the government and the general audience have expressed a strong wish that Oslo resumes some kind of normality as soon as possible. Together with the population of Oslo and visitors from abroad we wish to take our city back”.  Finally, he said: “We hope that our events can help ease the sadness and also be good meeting places in the days and weeks to come. We wish to take Oslo back by once again filling it with the great variety of cultural activities this city is known for and also by spreading a clear message that our population wants to take care of each other”.

The Festival will take place from 9th to the 13th Aug, and headliners include Kanye West, Pulp, Fleet Foxes, The Jayhawks, Janelle Monae, Lykke Li, Aphex Twin, Kvelertak and Warpaint. Oya was a winner of the ‘Outstanding’ Greener Festival Award in 2010, Yourope’s Green n Clean award and was the overall winner for the Greenest Festival in Europe at the 2010 European Festival Awards.  More information on Oya at


The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has made a $50 million gift to the green campaign that aims to eradicate coal fired generators. The donation, to the Sierra Club, promises to transform the ‘Beyond Coal’ campaign. The USA currently relies on dirty and polluting coal for nearly half of its electricity, and the campaign aims to reduce this to 30% by 2020, shutting down the oldest inefficient coal fired power stations and stopping the hugely destructive  practice of mountain top mining.

In 2007 Equador said that it would leave a fifth of its oil reserves untouched for the health of the planet and to protect the stunning Yasuni National Park – a rainforest of extraordinary biodiversity – if the international communuty stumped up $350 billion (half the value pof the oil). Not much has happened and npt much money has bee stumped up! Now the Yasuni-ITT Trust Fund, administerd by thge UN, was opened up for private donations. China and Spain have paid in $100,000 and $1 million respectively and Ital have cancelled $35 million of Equador’s debt – but of the fund doesn’t reach $100m by December, Equador says it will swap to Plan B – and drill for oil.

Amy Winehouse has did aged just 27. The singer songwriter was found dead at her Camden flat by police. Amy, who has long battled alcohol and drugs, had last been seen with her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield at London’s iTunes Festival. Amongst many tributes, Mark Ronson, who produced Winehouse’s epic Back to Black said “she was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life”.

On a personal note, we must also say goodbye to Willie Robertson. Willie was the ‘Robertson’ in Robertson Taylor, music industry insurance brokers, and the main sponsors of the Greener Festival Award for the last three years. Willie has died after a short battle with cancer aged 67.  He really was a legend in the music industry and a really really decent person. He will be much missed and our condolences to his son Max, who the Greener Festival team work with, his wife Angie, daughters Saran and Sami, and all of his family and friends.

A new report from Eunomia says that the amount of food waste in the UK available to anaerobic digestion (AD) developers and investors represents a “major opportunity” for the sector if it can be captured.  The Report suggests there is 6.5M tonnes a year of food waste which is already source-segregated at a regional level across the municipal, commercial and industrial sectors.  Of the 8M tonnes a year of food waste available across all sectors in the UK, Eunomia’s says that 2.2M is from household sources, 5.2M from commercial outlets and 0.6M from industrial sites

US environmental lobby group, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), has released a study measuring the environmental impact of meat and dairy products, which includes  the pesticides and fertilizer used to grow animal feed all the way through the grazing, animal raising, processing, transportation, cooking and the disposal of unused food.  Lamb is the worst offender, producing the greatest environmental impact and greenhouse gasses. Its production generates 39.3 kg (86.4 lbs) of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) for each kilo eaten.  Beef (the overall worst offender because of the volume of production) had the second-highest emissions, generating 27.1 kilos (59.6 lbs) of(CO2e) per kilo consumed, more than twice the emissions of pork, nearly four times that of chicken and more than 13 times that of vegetable proteins such as beans, lentils and tofu. Meat, eggs and dairy products that are certified organic, humane and/or grass-fed were found generally the least environmentally damaging.  More at

RSA announce Camp Bestival speakers

The RSA have announced three speakers for Camp Bestival  2011 , Rob da Banks fabulous family friendly festival.  Author, ‘freegan’ and  environmental activist Tristram Stuart, writer and communities expert Harry Hemming and Idler founder Tom Hodgkinson will each be speaking – and topics being covered include how to best use our resorces, how to eliminate waste, how to cooperate and work together and how to be more capable and self reliant. Camp Bestival runs from Friday 29th July to  Sunday 31st July at Lulworth Castle in Dorset.

  • Friday 29th July, 10.30am Tristram Stuart on Being Less Wasteful
  • Saturday 30th July, 10.30am Henry Hemming on Being More Cooperative
  • Saturday 31st July, 10.30am Tom Hodgkinson on Being More Capable

More about the RSA at

More on Camp Bestival at


Tens of thousands of jobs could be created in the next decade through investment in the UK’s wind and marine energy sectors. According to a new joint report, by RenewableUK and Energy & Utility Skills, up to 115,000 full time jobs could be created but this will require vast investment by both business and Government to create the infrastructure.

Birmingham City Council is to announce this week it has made huge progress on its carbon cutting drive.  The council, in partnership with 33 Birmingham based organizations has exceeded carbon cutting targets.  A full report is due before the council’s Climate Change and Sustainability Cabinet Committee, which is expected to show a cut of 155,059 tonnes of CO2, beating its target of 130,000 tonnes for 2010 to 2011.

Antarctica is the coldest most desolate place on Earth and is buried beneath a two mile thick ice cap – but it used to be a tropical paradise for 100 million years –  and only got cold in fairly recently (well in geological  terms anyway). This is because fifty five million years ago there were 1000 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – compared to 390 ppm now. Mind you, the 390 ppm  is rapid;y growing (up from 280ppm before the industrial revolution) so we’re warming up again – although this time it’s man made and much much quicker than previous changes..  When the CO2 count gets to 500 ppm, the ice caps will fully melt and we will have a ‘hot, drowned World’.

A redundant tin mine has been brought into the modern era by being transformed into what is claimed to be the UK’s largest ever solar farm.  The farm, which claims to be the first in the south west of England, boasts 5,680 solar panels and is called the Wheal Jane solar farm.  This week the site, covering a 7.2 acre plot in Truro, Cornwall, was connected to the grid in by UK-based solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy (LRE).  Capable of generating up to 1.4 MW farm, which according to LRE, would make it the biggest in the UK to date.

Carbon budgets are at risk from a plethora of permits in the market, according to energy minister Chris Huhne. New research has revealed an estimated 1.9 billion tonne oversupply by 2020 of carbon permits in European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS).  According to the Sandbag Climate Campaign 77% of installations covered by ETS currently have a surplus of carbon permits.

Sutton United Football Club is going green for the start of the new season by becoming the first football team in the world to measure and reduce its carbon emissions according to a recognised standard.  After being promoted to the Blue Square Bet South League (Conference South) last season, Sutton United is looking to up its game both on and off the pitch by becoming Planet Positive certified. The certification will assess the electricity and gas consumption at the club’s ground.  To kick things off, Sutton United will aim to reduce its impact on the environment through a simple behaviour change plan. Players and staff will be encouraged to adopt greener lifestyles that benefit the environment and the club.

MELT! Festival Ties Up With Q-Cells for a Solar Powered Future

Germany’s Green Music initiative have been busy looking at renewable energies for the music and entertainment industries and now, together with Q-Cells, the Ferropolis site operators and the Melt! Festival in Germany they have launched  Ferro Solar, a photovoltaic system on the roofs of buildings in the famous ‘City of Iron’  which has accumulated enough carbon-neutral solar power to power  the Melt! Festival and to power the Splash Festival. The Green Music Initiative’s aim is to assist in an industry-wide energy transition process with the organizations in the festival and live music industry by developing innovative approaches to power generation and storage.

Q-Cells solar have provided panels on the roofs of Ferropolis site, a previous centre for heavy industry, which in turn provides the MELT! Festival with clean solar electricity. Q-Cells, Ferropolis GmbH, MELT! GmbH and the Green Music Initiative are aiming to create green approaches for the music industry. Q-Cells AG is one of the world’s leading photovoltaic providers and has installed a four-part solar system with a total capacity of 210 kilowatts peak (kWp) on the roofs of the ‘Iron City’ of Ferropolis. Ferropolis GmbH has also set up a new scheme with the Martin-Luther-University Halle / Wittenberg FERROLab to provide new educational opportunities for students interested in environmental sustainability and green power technology.

Thomas Franks, head of marketing at Q-Cells said ” This ground-breaking solar project is of great importance for the region of Central Germany” adding “The solar panels on the roofs of Ferropolis demonstrates our capabilities as a provider of solar solutions. With the  co-operation of the MELT! Festival, and also with the partnership with the current German football champions Borussia Dortmund have brought solar power to a much wider audience.

Thies Schroeder, managing director of Ferropolis GmbH said “The investment underpins the successful transformation of Ferropolis – the symbol of the lignite energy, solar ferro – and provides the festival site with new and renewable energy supply”.

A total of 2,000 Q. SMART thin film solar modules from Q-Cells will produce 189 000 kWh per year. That’s two and a half more energy than a festival in the size of the MELT! consumed. Translated into CO2 emissions, this represents a saving of 166.77 thousand kilograms of CO2 per year and underscores the claim of Ferropolis operating company to make their site sustainable.

The Green Music Initiative serves as a national platform to promote a climate-friendly music and entertainment industry.  During MELT! (14th to 17thJuly) the Festival and the GMI hosted a special “Green MELT! Dinner” focusing is on the exchange of innovative ideas among representatives from music, science, media, politics, non-governmental organizations and industry with a goal  to facilitate the involvement of all relevant social actors on a common path towards a climate friendly future as soon as practicable.

“We are especially proud of the cooperation between the Ferropolis GmbH and Q-Cells, which has installed in the framework of the solar panels on the roofs of Ferropolis,” says Jacob Bilabel, founder of the Green Music Initiative. “The power produced here over the years from solar power can be calculated to power both the MELT! and the Splash! Festival. This shows that energy autonomy is possible ”

Green Talent is just the job

Green Talent taps into people power  – and it’s a social media initiative to shake up traditional career advice model
Green Talent, started in 2010 by the Eden Project, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and RSPB, is excited to launch a new careers service to help bring young people and businesses together in a gaming arena.
The initiative takes an informal learning environment and uses social media to help inform young people about the world of employment and sustainable business.
Harnessing the skills of everyone
As people participate within the Green Talent forums, they earn points for helping others and get rewarded for their time. In doing so, the community draws on the knowledge and experiences of others to help guide people in a completely open and friendly way.
As well as the informal forums where young people and business can engage openly, the Green Talent web community provides a valuable learning resource for teachers and businesses.
Sim Stewart, co-founder and Managing Director of Cofacio, who collaborated on the development of the site, said: “We are delighted to work with Green Talent on this new initiative. Informal learning is a growing concept within education and development, and we are proud to be able to work on a new community-driven project that truly harnesses the knowledge of young people today.”
Jobs in the low carbon and sustainable sectors are on the increase and Green Talent aims to bring people together to share ideas and experiences and provide valuable mentoring and advice for young people.
Gaynor Coley, the Eden’s Project Managing Director, said: “The next phase of Green Talent sees us taking this important partnership with RSPB and Kew forward to create the opportunity for young people to see how they can bring their relationship with the environment to the workplace and create a better future for all”.
How the Green Talent project works:
1. Join the forum
Individuals set up a mini profile and tell the forum what they need help with.
2. Provide answers
Everyone’s an expert in something, so the forum encourages people to share their experiences to help others.
3. Find a mentor
People can browse the mentor map and look at profiles to find people who may be able to offer career help and support in a chosen field.
4. Support projects
As people take part and spend time in the forum they earn points that they can then donate to support a good cause.
To find out more or to sign up visit:

Glastonbury cans it!

The Glastonbury Festival have revealed that over 2 tonnes of drinks cans from the Festival were sent to Perrys recycling centre in Marston Magna in Somerset after this year’s festival, picked up by the Festivals dedicated team of litter pickers who clean the site by hand.

Glastonbury also announced that their ‘Green Traveller’ scheme was a real success in 2011, with car parking and car numbers being reduced for the first time. Car numbers were down by 4,600 vehicles. Green Travellers who came by bike or public transport were given their own camping area and discount vouchers for on-site facilities.

Glastonbury also said that despite a blisteringly hot final day, water use on site at the festival was down in 2011 as well. The Festival installed its own reservoirs last year and also swapped sewage disposal to a local farm, saving tankers having to bring drinking water on site and take human waste off site to a sewage plant near the coast.