Monthly Archives: July 2014

Glasgow 2014 moves towards sustainability


glasgow2014The 20th Commonwealth Games has thousands of athletes competing in more than 250 events. The games have also tried to develop a  legacy for the city of Glasgow – and here are some of their commitments to sustainability.

1) Glasgow 2014 has achieved ISO 20121, the international standard for sustainable event management.

2) The Commonwealth Games SECC (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre) venue in Glasgow was the first venue to sign up to Zero Waste Scotland’s ‘Resource Efficiency Pledge’

3) Recycled food waste has been used to construct Commonwealth Games venues. Food and garden waste has been collected from households throughout Scotland, recycled at GP Plantscape’s In-Vessel Composting facility, and used grow turf at the Athletes’ Village and at some of the sporting arenas.

4) The Glasgow 2014 organising committee is reusing 260,000 items of furniture, fittings and equipment from the London 2012 Olympics. The items were transported to Scotland for use in the Athletes’ Village. The carbon footprint for the journey by sea was estimated at 41.77 tonnes of CO2.

5)  The carbon footprint of travelling to the events is being cut, as public transport is being provided free of charge to all ticket holders on the day of the event and to the entire workforce for the Games.

More on



solar powerLondon Mayor Boris Johnson has warned that the the power stations that feed the capital are working at full capacity and that London faces blackouts caused by population growth. Energy watchdog Ofgem says that maximum capacity could be just 2% above demand peak demand in 2015.  Mr Johnson has given drivers of diesel vehicles six years notice that he will then implement a additional £10 per day charge for diesel cars vehicles. An air pollution monitoring station on London’s Oxford Street has recorded one of the highest levels of NO2 in the world – nitrogen dioxide is linked to 7,000 UK deaths each year. The average central London reading is three times the EU’s limit.

The White House has warned that delaying action on climate change would carry a heavy price, racking up an additional 40% in economic losses from climate impacts and other costs over the course of 10 years.White House officials said the stark finding from the president’s council of economic advisers underlined the urgency of Barack Obama’s efforts to cut carbon pollution. In addition to a new report on the economic cost of delay, the White House is poised to launch two new initiatives on Tuesday dealing with fast-rising methane emissions from the natural gas industry, and buffering food security against future climate change.  “We are pushing across the board on the elements of the climate action plan,” John Podesta, Obama’s counsellor, told a conference call with reporters.

Sainsburys have launched a new cycle friendly lorry with proximity sensors and 360 degree video vision, side guard extensions and more indicators along the sides and extra lights to illuminate the tarmac around the lorries. Seven lorries are ready to roll, with nine more in the pipeline with a Nationwide roll out over 5 years.

waspThe current heatwave in the UK has been very beneficial to fruit and flowers – and with many fruits ripening ahead of schedule – marvellous for wasps! Biting and stinging insects like midges, wasps and ticks –  are multiplying in the warm weather – after a warm 2013-2014 winter which did little to curb numbers. The NHS has reported a big uplift in enquiries and says this – “buzzing bees, marching ants and swarms of midges are becoming as much a part of the British summer as deckchairs, picnics and ice creams.  The warm winter was also beneficial to gas bills – down 25% on average in the “UK!

It has transpired that research into whether the ban on three neonicotinoid pesticides (which are thought to be harmful to bees, our main pollinators and vital to the Nation) may be biased – as its being funded by pesticide manufacturers. The House of Commons environmental audit committee says that Defra’s reliance on manufacturer funded research shows its ‘excessive reliance on commercial (rather than scientific) priorities. As Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan told Q Magazine: “Bees are almost honourable, man. Firstly they create some sweet, sweet honey. Which is fucking GREAT. Thanks, bees, for the honey. And if they sting you they die, so when it comes to stinging, they’re really passionate about what they do” adding “They’re like passionate artists. Bees are like painters. All they do is give and give and give, and sometimes they give too much”.

Fracking rules in the UK are to be tightened to avoid damaging areas of outstanding natural beauty. National Parks, world heritage sites and the Broads.  The move was welcomed by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England  but was criticised by the oil and gas industries who say the risks of fracking to the environment and water supplies are low.  But despite overwhelming opposition to the government’s plans to expanding fracking across Britain expressed by interest groups during an official consultation, ministers have signalled a go-ahead for shale gas drilling around the country. The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s report on the government’s Strategic Environmental Assessment of its nationwide fracking plan recorded a wide range of objections, including from bodies such as Public Health England and the Natural England.

New models by Renault and Volvo helped sales of electric cars in the European Union double in 2013, but the zero-emission vehicles still only account for one in every 250 new cars sold. Electric cars are a crucial part of government policies tackling both air pollution and climate change, but car manufacturers have lobbied hard against rules to cut emissions.

India’s Adami Group has won approval from the Australian Governmentto build one of the world’s biggest coal mines – which could threaten the Great barrier reef as the Abbot Point port would be enlarged The Carmichael coal and rail project in Queensland will produce 60 million tonnes of coal each year for export, mostly to India. The Government has said conditions have been imposed to prevent the environment being damaged and water supplies being compromised.

DRAX POWERAn interesting article in the Times ‘Opinion’ pages on Monday 28th July 2014 by Matt Ridley, a man usually so biased against green energy his comments are  not worth reading. Whilst this article has the usual dollop of anti green vitriol, it makes the good point that burning wood biomass instead of coal to generate electricity is not necessarily green and clean energy – especially of that wood comes from freshly harvested trees shipped over from North America.  The rest f the article is an ill thought out and blinkered  arrack on sustainable energy – but that doesn’t detract from the main point in ‘Another renewable myth goes up in smoke‘ – and comes on the back of news that Drax – who are converting their coal burning power stations to biomass in North Yorkshire – are fighting a government decision to remove new subsidies in the courts – and news that Drax also still receive a subsidy for the coal fired plants they still have  – the “capacity” subsidy to cover possible blackouts when there are dips in supplies from renewable energy sources such as wind farms. Bonkers? Unfortunately for Mr Ridley, new polling data reveals that almost half of UK voters see investing in renewables as a priority over any other form of energy when it comes to ensuring the nation’s energy security. Figures released last week by RenewableUK found that 48% of voters see investing in renewables as their number one priority for maintaining energy security – far ahead of the next most popular choice, building new nuclear reactors, which came in at 15%.

Nasa scientists have revealed an that an unreported near-miss eruption on the surface of the Sun could have devastated Earth and sent us back to the ’18th century’. The chilling report says that Earth was just one week away from disaster after two massive clouds of plasma happened to miss hitting the Earth’s atmosphere. The eruption, which was observed by Nasa’s space probe STEREO, occurred in July 2012. The clouds of plasma, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), were part of what is to date the biggest solar storm in 150 years. More on AOL.

Pangolin_borneoPangolins being eaten to extinction, conservationists have warned – Scaly anteaters are now the most illegally-traded mammal in the world for food and so called medicine, with all eight species listed as threatened in the Red List of endangered animals.

Kudzu  was first introduced to the U.S. at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, it has been swallowing the country from an epicenter in the South-East at the rate of about 50,000 baseball fields per year, occupying an estimated 3,000,000 hectares today. Kudzu can grow up to 60 feet per season, or about one foot per day. Kudzu is extremely bad for the ecosystems that it invades because it smothers other plants and trees under a blanket of leaves, hogging all the sunlight and keeping other species in its shade. It can also survive in low nitrogen areas and during droughts, allowing it to out-compete native species that don’t have those superpowers. The only other plants that can compete with kudzu are other invasive species, so that doesn’t really help…

“Green growth is more than just low carbon and renewable energies. From a technological point of view, renewables alone do not constitute a synergistic technology system. There is not enough technological convergence in knowledge, suppliers, engineering or skills between solar, wind, wave, geothermal or hydroelectric energy equipment. In order to benefit from all the potential synergies, the environmental challenge must be seen with a wider lens. Apart from the technologies that enable flexibility and interaction in the space of renewable energy, such as batteries, smart grids and the like, the green direction would have to encompass what can be termed green growth. This would include conservation; pollution control; reduction of material content per product; designing for durability; replacing products, possession and waste with services, rental and maintenance and recycling, respectively; promoting the flourishing of the creative economy; making cities more liveable and less polluting; revamping transport systems and the built environment; promoting collaborative and sharing economies; focusing on health (including preventive and personalised medicine);  and  promoting  all  forms  of  education,  in  and  out  of  schools.  This  type  of  growth  implies  a redefinition  of  the  optimal  production  practices  and  a  different  view  of  the  ‘good  life’,  shaping  the  desires  and  aspirations  of  the  majority.  In  other  words,  green  growth  involves  a  gradual transformation  of  the  entire  economy,  reversing  the  mass  production  and  consumption  patterns  of the  previous  revolution  and  making  it  cost effective  and  profitable  to  introduce  a  wide  range  of  innovative  changes  in  production  and  lifestyles  that  would  increase  sustainability  and  reduce  carbon,  while  improving  the  quality  of  life  for  all.” More on copyright and a green perspective can be found in   ‘Innovation ‘as Growth Policy: the challenge for Europe’ by Mariana Mazzucato & Carlota Perez, which can be found here


After raising a Gorilla in an English zoo, Damian Aspinall ventured out to the jungle where it was released to try to catch a glimpse of him, five years later. Not expecting the Gorrila, “Kwibi”, to recognize him, he was in for a major shock when they crossed paths:

Two new reports on the global energy-water nexus have concluded that by 2040 there may not be enough water to meet both the world’s drinking water and energy generation demands. With large amounts of water required to generate energy from fossil fuels and nuclear, competing water and energy demands risk a combined water and energy crisis in the coming decades.  The reports estimate a 50% rise in water demands by 2030 driven increasingly by electricity generation which has the potential to leave a 40% gap between supply and demand in some parts of the world.  The data was collected by researchers from Vermont Law School and Aarhus University in Denmark.  The areas highlighted for particular water-stress were in Texas, India and Northern China. In India, 70% of power generation comes from low-quality coal and the World Resources Institute estimates that its water demand will outstrip supply by as much as 50% by 2030, with 79% of new electricity generation capacity expected to be built in water-scare or water-stressed are

tripadReview website TripAdvisor has launched a new online programme that will help travellers around the world plan greener trips by choosing European hotels and B&Bs based on their environmental credentials. The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme has awarded more than 6,000 qualifying accommodation businesses a ‘GreenLeader’ status based on a variety of sustainability practices including energy efficiency, recycling and water reduction.

Car clubs are set to receive a £500,000 funding boost, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced. The funding will help to make more efficient use of the road and reduce transport related carbon emissions through support for two pilot car sharing programmes. Pay-as-you-go car use encourages people to walk and cycle and make use of public transport.  Baroness Kramer said: “Car clubs cut congestion, reduce carbon and save people money while still giving people the freedom and flexibility to use a car when they want to. Interest in car clubs is already gathering pace and we want to give that interest added momentum.

A cheap lighting concept which creates solar lanterns from plastic bottle waste is being trialled by designers in the hope it can be scaled up for commercial production.  Turkish creative firm Designnobis has developed what it calls ‘Infinite Light’ – a lantern made by reusing an empty plastic bottle and fitting it with a flexible solar panel and batteries. The solar panel sits inside the bottle and collects sunlight during the day. It then switches over to battery power at night once the solar energy has been depleted.  The lantern is held together by a frame, with a handle so that it can be hung up or carried around. The concept, which has already won an eco-innovation award, is intended to highlight the growing importance of waste materials as a resource.

British paper and technical fibres company and a Swedish forestry giant have unveiled a sustainable alternative to plastic which they claim is strong enough to carry the weight of an adult and can be composted within 100 days. DuraPulp was developed by James Cropper in partnership with Södra, a Swedish forestry cooperative. The bio-composite material is made from pulp and a renewable polymer which, after additional processing, becomes moisture resistant, rigid and strong enough to carry the weight of an adult.


mall-of-the-world-dubai-indoor-theme-park-DesignBoom tells us that Dubai is about to build the world’s most biggest shopping mall ever –  connecting to 100 hotels and apartment buildings, with 7 kilometers (4.34 miles) of temperature controlled retail-lined streets, modelled after Barcelona’s La Rambla, complete with a streetcar system running down the middle, with a little Oxford Street and Broadway thrown in and a big dose of synthetic Main Street USA. There is also a 3 million square foot “wellness zone” devoted to the latest hot international trend- medical tourism.  Environmental madness – probably yes – although developers say this “The project will follow the green and environmentally friendly guidelines of the Smart Dubai model. It will be built using state-of-the-art technology to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint, ensuring high levels of environmental sustainability and operational efficiency”. We remain unconvinced with Dubai planning  to fly 180 million tourists every year into an air conditioned city-sized pleasure palace.

Tesla is facing a renewed trade mark challenge over its name in China. When Tesla first made plans to sell electric cars in China, it came up against a businessman called Zhan Baosheng who had trademarked the Tesla name for automotive uses back in 2006, three years after Tesla formed in the U.S. The trademark was granted in 2009, for a period of ten years. Baosheng also set up a website, and trademarked the Tesla logo – hoping to profit from Tesla’s inevitable decision to sell in the country. Green Car Reports say that for a time, Tesla considered using the phonetic name Te Su Le to sell its cars. Baosheng eventually lost his trademark battle when the Chinese regulator sided with Tesla’s claims and ruled that his trademarks were invalid. Now it seems that Baosheng is appealing that decision, and has filed a lawsuit requesting that Tesla cease operations in the country, shut its showrooms, service centres and charging facilities, and pay him $3.9 million in compensation.

captura-de-pantalla-2014-07-11-a-las-18-19-24For those who speak Spanish: El verano es sinónimo de festivales. Entre los muchos que existen, hoy queremos fijarnos en aquellos que además de entretener, hacen un gran esfuerzo por ser sostenibles. Este post está dirigido tanto a promotores y organizadores, que queréis que vuestro festival sea sostenible; como a vosotros, asistentes-adictos a festivales, que queréis saber qué se puede hacer para disfrutar de la música a la vez que se cuida el Medio Ambiente OR in translatiom (by Google) “Summer is synonymous Among the many festivals in the world, today we look at those as well as entertain, make a great effort to be sustainable, this post is aimed at both developers and organizers, who want to keep their festival is sustainable….. as to you, attending festivals-addicts who want to know what you can do to enjoy music while Environment cares.” More here

Australia – ahhhhh Australia. Prime Minister Tony Abbot has had his way and the country’s two year old carbon tax has been dumped. The PM says that the country has rid itself of ‘a useless destructive tax’ and will use an alternative direct action scheme using grants to promote carbon cutting.

In the UK we have a new Secretary of State for the Environment after Owen Paterson was sacked by the prime Minister – with Paterson blaming a lavishly funded set of ‘mutually supportive’ environmental pressure groups and renewable energy companies – and some public officials – for his demise in a lengthy article in the Telegraph that attacks the ‘green blob’.  Elizabeth Truss MP was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 15 July 2014. Mind you, whilst this ‘green blob’ may have lobbied Paterson on fracking, renewable energy, bee killing pesticides and GM crops, he was pretty good at ignoring scientific consensus and listening to their opponents – pesticide manufacturer Syngenta, frackers Cuadrilla, the so called Agricultural Biotechnology Council (a GM lobby group) and the Shell and BP supported British Institute of Energy Economics – and the Guardian (22.07.14) tells us that he is also about to do a lecture for climate change deniers GWPF. Oh and Mr Paterson – we get NO money from government, other NGOs or green energy companies – we get no subsidies, grants or ‘lavish funds’ from any one, we are all volunteers – we just care about the planet and our long term sustainable future and the current lack of common sense in energy and environmental policy making. And the chancellor, George Osborne’s hopes of weakening the UK’s carbon budget for the next decade were quashed on Tuesday when Lib Dem energy secretary, Ed Davey, said the target would not be changed. The legally-binding target – of a 50% across 2023-2027 against 1990 levels, the most ambitious in the developed world – was agreed three years ago after a huge political battle between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, with David Cameron having to intervene in the target’s favour.

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is in the worst state it has been since records began and will be ‘pretty ugly’ in decades to come say Australian scientists, blaming coastal developments including the massive port dredging project at Abbot Point.

Black_Rhinos_KenyaOngoing poaching in the Kruger national park in South Africa has prompted a plan from authorities  to move some of the rhino population away fro the area to ‘spread the risk’ although commentators say no habitat will be completely safe for the endangered species because of poaching.

The UK and Germany lead a list of the EU’s most polluting coal-fired power stations compiled by environmental campaigners, who say coal emissions are undermining efforts to combat climate change. Both countries have nine of the so-called “dirty 30” and the campaigners say coal burning is increasing due to the relatively low price of the fuel compared to gas. “Germany and the UK are the self-declared climate champions of the EU,” says the new report. “However, Germany uses more coal to generate electricity than any other EU country, while the UK comes third in absolute coal consumption for power after Poland.” The report argues current EU policy on climate, energy and air pollution in the power sector is not strong enough to achieve the switch from coal to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Poland’s Belchatow plant came top of the list, with annual CO2 emissions of 37m tonnes in 2013. The UK’s largest coal plant, Drax, was sixth, with four German plants occupying second to fifth place. More on the Guardian website here

The south-west may be home to some of the cleanest beaches in the UK, but the first survey of its kind in over 40 years by the University of Exeter  shows that it is also a thriving area for the country’s jellyfish. More jellyfish were spotted per kilometre along the south-west coast than anywhere else in Britain’s waters, with the south-east home to the fewest, according to an analysis of nine years of data collected by the public.

Any businesses that isn’t incorporating climate change adaption or water scarcity issues into its business strategy is taking a ‘very great risk’ in terms of its sustainability and resilience going forward. Those are the words of Paul Kelly, the vice president for corporate affairs at Asda, who stressed that the impact of climate change and extreme weather must be viewed by businesses as a financial and economic risk. “Climate change is a very real challenge and I think that any business that doesn’t have climate change adaptation written largely within its business strategy is really taking a very great risk in terms of its sustainability and resilience going forward,” said Kelly.

Scottish food waste has been transformed into compost and used in the development of Commonwealth Games venues in Glasgow, according to Zero Waste Scotland. The food waste was collected with garden waste from households in Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire. The recycled waste has also been used in the development of Glasgow 2014’s Athletes Village.  According to Zero Waste Scotland, some of the 50,000 tonnes of food and garden waste that is sent to GP Plantscape’s in-vessel composting (IVC) facility in Blantyre every year has been used to help develop the facilities.

The BBC has cut thousands of tonnes of CO2 and reduced its energy consumption by 20%, according to the broadcaster’s Corporate Responsibility (CR). The closure of Television Centre in west London and the relocation of staff to MediaCityUK in Salford and New Broadcasting House in central London have helped the BBC reduce office-related CO2 emissions by more than 21,000 tonnes in 2013/14.  The BBC has seen a 20% energy consumption reduction, meeting its 2015/16 target early, and an absolute reduction in CO2 emissions of 19% compared with the 2007 baseline. Consumption per staff member fell by 11% due to concentrating staff into fewer buildings.

A UK couple trying to live a sustainable lifestyle have been allowed to keep their ‘eco-home’ in Devon – built out of reclaimed materials but with  no planning permission. neighbours were initially supportive of  Jules Smith and Matthew Lepley’s project but the complained after plans emerged for workshops on green engineering at the two story home made of materials including pallets and lorry tyres. New planning laws allowed a inspector to allow the home – which has no mains electricity, draws water from a borehole and has a compost toilet. The couple have three years to  prove their home and small holding sustainable. However a number of commentators have noted that the home was built without planning and sets a worrying precedent for future projects in the countryside. reports that universities and colleges across the UK have signed an agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to encourage sustainable innovation among future generations. The partnership will bring together members of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and the UNEP’s Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) network as part of a three-year agreement.  The network will work on improving environmental education, training and networking to increase sharing of ideas and an understanding of what sustainability means across the globe.

The Government is to cut the amount of cash available under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund by £2,000 per household after 12,200 applications with a value of more than £50m were received in the first six weeks of the scheme. More than £43m worth of vouchers for the fund have been issued with 7,925 households in England and Wales so far receiving vouchers under the scheme. The Home Improvement Fund has been seen as a boon for small businesses and contractors in the energy efficiency sector

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has unveiled details of a new £20m fund to incentivise businesses, industry and other organisations to improve energy efficiency. Announced at the CBI’s Energy Conference, the Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) auction will allow firms to compete for cash to fund projects that reduce electricity demand.  The positive impact that environmental policy can have on the green growth of a sector has been seen in the UK car industry, with increased investment contributing to a significant reduction in tailpipe emissions over the past 10 years. A new report from the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) found that more than £17bn had been invested in low-carbon vehicles between 2003 and 2013, which had revitalised the UK automotive industry. It also reported an average reduction in tailpipe emissions of 25% and a steady uptake in low-carbon buses, with 1,500 in operation in 2013

The Norwegian Parliament has granted funding for an innovative, closed-loop business model which makes use of captured CO2 to produce the Omega-3 necessary to feed local fish farms. CO2BIO has been given $1bn to build a pilot plant which will use carbon captured at Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) to produce marine algea using photosynthesis.  “Undertaking advanced marine microalgae production on the doorstep of the world’s largest single market for feed is important for long-term growth of the Norwegian aquaculture industry and for enhanced sustainability of marine raw materials,” said CO”BIO’s managing director Svein M Nordvik.

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a set of restrictions that will in effect prevent the development of a controversial copper and gold mine in Alaska which many said would have been disastrous for the state’s largest salmon fishery. Pebble Mine, located in south-west Alaska near Bristol Bay, would have been one of the largest opencast mines in the world — more than a mile deep, the depth of the Grand Canyon. And the total impact of the mine – from the project itself to the huge waste ponds and piles it would have required – could take up an area the size of Manhattan, according to the EPA. That, the EPA’s regional administrator, Dennis McLerran, said on Friday, was unacceptable for the environment, for those who rely on the salmon in Bristol Bay for work, and for the Native community who have argued that the area is integral to their way of life.



Festival News

eotr1On Wednesday 15th October 2014, ADE and ID&T present the second edition of ADE Green which will take place at a brand new location; de Brakke Grond, Amsterdam. Expect an afternoon filled with interactive panels and discussions that will leave you full of new ideas, workshops on how to get your hands dirty to help create a more climate-friendly future for your event, as well as inspiring folks who will share their experiences, ideas and knowledge with you. ADE Green is accessible with an ADE 1-Day Ticket, or a 5-Day Conference Ticket or buy a ADE Green conference ticket. .ADE Green is a collaboration between ID&T and ADE, supported by EE MUSIC, GO Group which AGreenerFestival is part of, Germany’s Green Music Initiative and Julie’s Bicycle. The first two confirmed speakers are music icon and entrepreneur, Michael Lang – best known for co-creating and producing the original 1969 Woodstock Festival – and top-chart dj Nicky Romero. They will be touching upon the role of the dance community in social change.

Construction is underway on the Royal Opera House’s new Costume Centre at High House Production Park. Designed by Nicholas Hare architects, the Centre will join the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop – where all the ROH’s sets and scenery are made – on the 14-acre site in Thurrock. The Costume Centre is a partnership between the Royal Opera House, South Essex College and Thurrock Borough Council with support from the East of England European Regional Development Programme and the Foyle Foundation. It will house all the costumes for opera and ballet productions currently in the repertory, which will enable the stock to be managed more efficiently, as well as reducing road mileage, transport costs and carbon footprint. The site will also house costumes obsolete productions so that designers may reuse or refashion costumes. The costumes will be kept in carefully controlled conditions to ensure they are properly conserved. The building itself will be of the highest environmental standards, set to achieve BREEAM excellent status, best practice in sustainable building design.

coachellaFestival Insights reports that for the third year in a row the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio has set an all-time Billboard Boxscore record for gross ticket sales. The festival is produced by Goldenvoice Presents, a division of AEG Live. The weekend following Coachella, Goldenvoice produced the Stagecoach country music festival, which drew 63,400 per day for a total attendance of 190,200. The total gross for Stagecoach was $18,615,000, with headliners Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Luke Brian, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, and Florida Georgia Line. The combined three weekends at the Empire Polo Grounds saw a total of 769,000 paid, resulting in a gross of $96,947,000. In Denmark more guests than ever visited this year’s Roskilde Festival, where more than 100,000 people gathered for a week-long celebration of music, art, manifestations and creative kinship. Roskilde Festival’s spokeswoman, Christina Bilde says: “It will be a few months before we know the final economic result, but with more than 100,000 tickets sold and great numbers coming in from the drinks and food sales, we are very positive in our expectations. We expect to be able to donate approximately €2.5m to charity and cultural purposes after this year’s festival. And in Finland, Ruisrock attracted a new record number of visitors this weekend when 93,000 people attended the event over the weekend.

festTickets are now on sale for the 11th UK Festival Awards and Festival Conference, which returns to London’s Roundhouse for the fourth year running on the 1st December 2014.

Singer and broadcaster, Cerys Matthews, best known as the lead singer of Welsh rock band Catatonia is launching a new festival, due to take place in September. The Good Life Experience will be “dedicated to celebrating the great outdoors” with axe-throwing, archery, abseiling, wood-fires and rabbit skinning, among the activities on offer.

libertinesThe Libertines’ reunion show at London’s Hyde Park was interrupted twice due to crowd surges and crushing. During the second song of the set, a rendition of ‘Boys In A Band’, The Libertines had to halt their performance after security came on stage at the AEG promoted and Barclaycard presented British Summer Time event, attempting to stop the energetic crowd from being crushed at the barriers. 38 fans were injured and 8 treated in hospital. Singer Pete Doherty shouted to the crowd: “We can’t carry on if you don’t calm down a bit.” Medical officers and security staff rushed to help people crushed at the front, and the photographer Leon Neal tweeted: “Chaos at the Libertines gig in Hyde Park. Many crushed with medics dragging people from the crowd.” The Libertines have announced two more shows on 27th and 28th September at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Seadance-CROPThe EXIT Foundation’s EXIT AID program, designed to help people affected by the devastating floods in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia earlier this year, has announced a special VIP fundraising effort as part of Sea Dance Festival, entitled Be Human which will see Jamiroquai and Example playing exclusive concerts at festival. The event is a collaborative effort between the EXIT Foundation and the municipality of Budva, and Dukley Gardens, with the support from the Government of the Republic of Serbia and Government of Montenegro as well as the National Tourist Organisation of Montenegro and Tourist Organisation of Budva. Dušan Kovačević, Strategic Director of EXIT Festival said: “Social responsibility is at the heart of EXIT Festival. This is exactly why the EXIT Foundation started the EXIT AID programme after the catastrophic floods that had hit Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, in an effort to help the most critical regions. “The programme achieved substantial results with the help of numerous foundations and friends. The Sea Dance Festival Gold and Platinum tickets will be the most important effort yet, when two world stars Jamiroquai and Example will play host to a humanitarian party for the flood-affected countries in the region.



sea_ice_polar_bearRecord sea ice in the Antarctic has triggered a debate about global warming between climate change sceptics and conservationists. The former point to the fact that the record 2.07 million square kilometres of sea ice is evidence that theories of global warming are flawed, whilst scientists and conservationists say the change is more evidence of climate chaos. One interesting theory is that global warming is that the spread of sea ice is caused by melting ice from under the cap rising to the surface and re-freezing. Another theory is that strengthening winds have caused lower temperatures. Other scientists say that the annual variation in Antarctica has much less significant than the ongoing melting at the Arctic, which is losing 1.8 million sq km each decade.

The BBC have said that they are re-considering editorial balance in their programmes after complaints that far too much coverage was given to minority and extremist opinions -including religious activists and climate change sceptics – making it clear that in the future the views of climate change sceptics such as (Lord) Nigel Lawson will not be treated as equal to mainstream scientific consensus on global warming and climate change.

From the Arctic to the Himalayas, Dark snow is accelerating glacier melting as industrial dust and soil, blown thousands of miles, settle on ice sheets and add to rising sea level threat: The Observer reports that the phenomenon of “dark snow” is being recorded from the Himalayas to the Arctic as increasing amounts of dust from bare soil, soot from fires and ultra-fine particles of “black carbon” from industry and diesel engines are being whipped up and deposited sometimes thousands of miles away. The result, say scientists, is a significant dimming of the brightness of the world’s snow and icefields, leading to a longer melt season, which in turn creates feedback where more solar heat is absorbed and the melting accelerates. More here.

New underground maps from the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the Environment Agency (EA) have discovered that many shale gas deposits overlap with major water aquifers.  The series of maps provide a new way to visualise geological data and assess the potential of fracking to contaminate drinking water with methane in England and Wales. They show the depth to each shale gas and oil source rock below principal groundwater aquifers, which provide 30% of the UK’s drinking water and shows the fracking riss to up to 70% of the drinking water in South East England.

food wasteA new UK study that measured and compared the dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat- and fish-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans  found that the highest dietary Greehouse gas (GHG) emissions were found in meat-eating men and the lowest were found in vegan females. So one way to reduce your carbon footprint is to stop eating meat.  The journal Climatic Change has published the first-ever study to compare the dietary greenhouse gas  emissions of real-life meat-eaters to those who abstain from meat or choose other sources of protein. (Other studies have used modeled estimates of reduced-meat diets.) This study, which took place in the UK, compares data on the actual diets of 2,041 vegans, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 fish-eaters, and 28, 589 meat-eaters.  Each individual’s diet was standardized to a 2,000 kcal diet so that differences in estimated energy consumption between diet groups would not affect the end results which showed:

High meat-eaters (more than 100 grams per day, which defines the majority of adults in the UK and US): 16 pounds / 7.26 kilograms of CO2e

Low meat-eaters (less than 50 grams per day): 10.3 pounds / 4.67 kg

Fish-eaters: 8.7 pounds / 3.94 kg

Vegetarians: 8.5 pounds / 3.85 kg

Vegans: 6.5 pounds / 2.94 kg

Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012Some people who are against renewable energy  (and often when you follow the money you find that they are being financed by fossil fuel interests) spread all kinds of misinformation. Treehugger says that one of their main arguments is that it takes so much energy to, for example, build wind turbines that the energy that is produced takes a long time to offset the energy used for production and installation, making them a worse deal than they seem, and thus not as beneficial to the environment as pro-renewable people claim. It might sound like a good ‘gotcha’, but the facts don’t back it up. More on Treehugger here

Virgin_atlanticThe UK’s Airports Commission has said that London Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary would have ‘large scale adverse effects’ on wildlife and the environment and that the costs of mitigating the damage could be as much as £2 billion – and critics say the whole plan would be a ‘costly environmental disaster and that compensating new habits for ‘Boris island’ might not be successfully created.

Hundreds of wellington boots were dumped outside Defra’s offices this morning by Friends of the Earth campaigners calling on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to sack Environment Secretary Owen Paterson for his perceived failure to take climate change seriously.  The environment charity’s campaign, ‘Give Owen Paterson the boot’, is calling for Mr Paterson to be sacked in the coming cabinet reshuffle, stating that the minister’s failure to accept the science of man-made global warming makes his position untenable. And the majority of MPs consider responsible business to be a key electoral issue, but their awareness of businesses’ community activities in this area remains low.  This was the main finding to come out of a report jointly released by Lloyds Banking Group and Business in the Community (BITC), which surveyed 151 MPs on their views about the role of business in their constituencies. According to the study, three in five MPs thought responsible business was a key issue for national Government as the 2015 national election approaches – two in five said it would be a key issue within their constituency.  But the UK government is in the firing line – the Association for the Conservation of Energy says total number of energy efficiency measures has fallen 60% in the past year and that the installation of measures to help homes save energy has collapsed as a result of government policies, campaigners have said – and  more than 150 businesses have called for Prime Minister David Cameron to support the UK solar industry in a letter to Downing Street. The letter, signed by a coalition of 150 businesses including brands such as IKEA, KYOCERA, Interface and Triodos Bank, warns against destabilising the lucrative solar power market in the UK, when the global solar market could be worth £78billion per annum by 2020.

On the same day as revealing a new Circular Economy Package, the European Commission has published its new Green Action Plan for SMEs in a bid to improve resource efficiency among smaller firms.  ‘Green Action Plan for SMEs: Enabling SMEs to turn environmental challenges into business opportunities’ presents a series of SME-oriented actions to help exploit the business opportunities that the transition to a green economy offers, as well as highlighting the drivers and obstacles and financial instruments available to help implement green initiatives.

And businesses, particularly smaller companies, buildings and infrastructure such as transport networks, hospitals and water supplies are all ill-prepared for the extreme weather events related to climate change says a report released today.  The progress report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Adaptation Sub-committee finds that the resilience of UK business, buildings and infrastructure needs to be enhanced to counter more severe flooding and heatwaves in the future. Among its top line recommendations, the committee is calling for the introduction of new regulations to avoid surface water flooding caused by new development and a new building standard incorporating cooling measures to prevent buildings overheating. The Report also praises the ‘comprehensive approach’ that has already been put in place by the energy sector and recommends that a similar plan be instituted by water companies and telecommunications providers as well as for major roads and airports. More here on

A new manifesto  by the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) has calculated that the UK could save £12.1billion per year by 2050 by focusing energy policy on greener buildings.  The report uses the government’s own ‘Pathways’ energy calculator to show that a greater focus on green buildings and energy efficient construction would prove more cost effective than prioritising large-scale energy projects such as nuclear power and large off-shore wind farms. The SEA estimates that measures such as low carbon buildings and buildings which produce their own renewable energy will be cheaper than large-scale energy generation measures, with small scale-energy efficiency costing an estimated £91 per MWh and large-scale renewable measures costing £108 per MWh.

Tour_de_FranceThe opening stages of this year’s Tour de France in the United Kingdom will have its environmental impact measured by the Carbon Trust and Leeds City Council.  The Carbon Trust will measure the carbon emissions, waste and long-term legacy impacts such as encouraging people to take up cycling. The report will examine how the environmental impact is being managed and look for areas of improvement for future events.

A consortium of organisations from UK packaging, retail and recycling industries, led by Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer (M&S), are to launch a market trial aimed at recycling up to 1.3 billion plastic food trays each year. The initiative focuses specifically on black CPET trays, most commonly used in supermarket ready meals. Although they are recyclable, the black colour of the trays makes them undetectable with Near Infra-Red optical sorting equipment used at plastic sorting and recycling facilities.


Festival News

voltFestival Insights reports that Volt Festival  in Hungaryhas launched a campaign to make the event more environmentally-friendly. Called GreenFestival, the scheme sees festival-goers given a GreenFestival bag when they get their FestiPay card, by giving a mandatory deposit of 500HUF. The ones who gather and return their waste will not only get back the deposit, but also receive a certificate of merit and a T-shirt coupon worth 500HUF. A spokesman said the aim of this campaign is to show the audience that they are the source of action when it comes to saving the environment. 

cc14_600Crawl Promotions, the company behind North London’s long-standing multi-venue music festival The Camden Crawl, has been put into liquidation by its organisers a week and a half after the event’s 2014 edition and it  seems that many of the bands who performed this year will lose money. An official statement issued via the Camden Crawl website this morning reads: “Due to ticket sales falling far short of expectations for this year’s event, Crawl Promotions Ltd, the Company which promotes the Camden Crawl, is unable to pay its debts in full to any suppliers, staff or the Company’s directors and shareholders. As it stands the total debts substantially exceed the value of the assets of the Company. Because of this completely unanticipated situation and after nearly ten years of successfully promoting the Camden Crawl festival, it is with great regret and sadness that there has been no other option than to convene meetings for the purpose of placing the Company into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation”. An Insolvency Practitioner has been appointed and Meetings of Shareholders and Creditors are scheduled for the 11th July 2014.

Mike-WeatherleyMike Weatherley MP, who has been particularly vocal on music business and intellectual property issues in his time in parliament, has announced he will not re-stand at next year’s General Election. The member of parliament for Hove and Portslade since 2010, Weatherley worked in both the music and film industries before entering politics. He has been very involved in the All Party Parliamentary Groups on music and ticketing, and last year became IP Advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron as well as running the ‘Rock The House’ band competition which saw winners play live in the Speakers Rooms at the House of Commons in London. Having recently had a battle against cancer, Mike said: “This has been an exceptionally difficult decision to make. It has been a remarkable opportunity to represent the wonderful residents of Hove and Portslade in Parliament and I look forward to continuing to do this until the election near year.”

Glasto13.B086A heartless festival goer has left behind a DOG at the Glastonbury Festival. The white lurcher was found in one of the 5,000 tents abandoned after the iconic Somerset festival ended. The dog was renamed ‘Dolly’ after Glastonbury headliner Dolly Parton and Dolly is now recovering at the Happy Landings animal shelter in Pylle, Somerset – and rescue workers are looking for answers. A spokesperson said: “She is a sweet-natured older lurcher, and clearly very stressed to find herself in this predicament” adding “We had hoped that an owner would come forward but there has still been nothing” and  “How anyone could do such a thing is beyond me”. Dolly was found by Wookey grandfather Colin Williams who found lonely Dolly in a stifling hot tent. Mr Williams had been let on the Glastonbury Festival site on Tuesday morning to collect an abandoned tent for his grandchildren to play in and he confirmed the dog had been left with some food and probably a small amount of water. The Glastonbury Festival does not allow dogs on site. Dolly has offered to adopt Dolly!

garth-brooks-cd-coverThe decision by Dublin City Council to grant a licence for only three of the five sold-out Garth Brooks’ shows at Croke Park has prompted a flurry of comments in Ireland. Promoter’s Aiken Promotions announced the shows in February after lengthy negotiations – they would have been the only shows Brooks is playing worldwide this summer. As of the 8th July legal proceedings over  concerts in Croke Park were formally lodged in the High Court by a local resident Brian Duff, whose solicitor is named as Anthony Fay, the solicitor acting for some residents of Croke Park. The case is against Aiken Promotions (Ireland) Ltd and Páirc an Chrócaigh Teoranta (Croke Park Ltd) and seeks injunctive relief preventing the holding of the three shows which had secured approval from Dublin City Council. The singer said last week he would perform the five concerts, for which 400,000 tickets have been sold, or none at all. Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Christy Burke, said he had made last ditch attempts over the weekend to have the shows put on at the Aviva Stadium on the capital’s southside instead. But he was told by promoters Aiken Promotions and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), which runs Croke Park, that it was logistically impossible. Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny said ‘I hope the two axed Garth Brooks Croke Park concerts can be saved’ but said that he could not intervene in the decision by the City Council which approved concerts on the 25th, 26th and 27th July, but not the Monday 28th July and Tuesday 29th


Bees victory

This from 38 Degrees

Wonderful news, we’ve protected our bees! Yesterday Syngenta withdrew their controversial application to allow their banned bee-killer pesticides back on UK fields. [1]

Owen Paterson, the environment minister, sided with Syngenta. But the decision was deemed so toxic that it was brought all the way up to the Prime Minister and his cabinet to discuss.

The day before the big meeting, the huge people-powered petition signed by over 200,000 of us was delivered to the PM’s desk. [2] And on the morning of the meeting,hundreds of us swarmed on Downing St to confront the ministers as they arrived. [3]


Dressed as bee-keepers, bees and pesticides, and with a host of other campaign organisations we chanted at the top of our voices and left the ministers in no doubt that we expected them to put our bees before Syngenta’s profits. [4] And it worked! The government stalled and didn’t announce a decision, forcing Syngenta to back down. [5]

38 Degrees members have a great history of protecting our countryside and wildlife. From campaigning for the European ban in the first place, through to stopping our forests from being sold off, we have shown we’re prepared to organise both online and in person to make change happen.

We have a small and nimble staff team which means we can move quickly to launch campaigns like this to protect our bees, and 38 Degrees is 100% funded by its members. Lots and lots of people chipping in a small amount soon adds up, and means that together we can take on goliath companies like Syngenta and win.

Thanks so much for everything you do,

Robin, Maddy, the 38 Degrees team & the bees

38 Degrees is funded entirely by donations from thousands of members across the UK. Making a regular donation will mean 38 Degrees can stay independent and plan for future campaigns. Please will you chip in a few pounds a week?

[1] Farmers Guardian – Syngenta withdraws neonicotinoid emergency use application:
BBC News – Widespread impacts of neonicotinoids ‘impossible to deny’ :
[2] The massive people powered petition:
[3] 38 Degrees blog – Hundreds swarm on Downing Street:
[4] Alongside 38 Degrees members, a huge range of campaign organisations came along. Buglife, Client Earth, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Natural Beekeeping Trust, Pesticide Action Network and the Soil Association all joined the campaign.
[5] Syngenta had said that unless a decision was made by the beginning of July, it would be too late to use the pesticides this year.