U2 initiative

Tampa FL/Dave Long/U2TOURFANS 2009Superstars U2, who buy carbon offsets to balance the greenhouse gases that they emit during their concert tours, have asked their fans to do the same through a project the band has prepared with Offset Options.

The project has calculated that U2 fans emit an average of 127 kilos of greenhouse gases while traveling to watch the band’s concerts. The firm sells carbon offsets on its Web site to balance the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during the tour.

After conducting research, Offset Options identified four projects to support, including ones in China, India and Indonesia, as well as the Dora-1 plant. U2 fans will be able to balance their average carbon emissions by purchasing an offset certificate from one of the four projects for $1.89.

Offsetting carbon emissions is an important tool in creating environmental awareness and encouraging environmental institutions, according to Pınar Öztürk from South Pole’s Turkey office.

“The system can be used for a bank branch. Or it can be used to offset the emissions resulting from the airplane flight of a tourism agency,” Öztürk said. “Individuals can also buy them, as in the U2 project.”

In a news piece from Turkey, it is reported that “An environmental-responsibility project from Irish rock band U2 will bring money to the Dora-1 geothermal power plant in the Aegean province of Ayd?n.

The project will raise approximately $450,000 for various environmentally conscious power plants if U2 fans purchase carbon certificates offsetting the emissions they generate when traveling to the band’s shows.

The Dora-1 plant will take a share of any funds raised by the initiative.

The transactions are conducted on the voluntary carbon market, which is based on principles that allow people or institutions to buy carbon credits to offset their greenhouse-gas emissions. The system, which allows consumers to contribute to global-warming prevention efforts, also represents a new dimension of global commerce.

The Dora-1 plant, which belongs to Menderes Geothermal Elektrik Üretim, has the right to offer carbon-offset certificates valued at 30,000 tons because it generates power using clean-energy solutions. The plant has issued its certificates through Switzerland’s South Pole, a firm carrying out emissions-reduction projects.

South Pole calculated the amount of emissions the plant would have produced had it generated electricity from fossil fuels. Carbon offsets for that amount have been certified and sold to the Australian firm Climate Friendly, which then sold the certificate to Offset Options. This new electronic marketplace provides Web services aimed at increasing price and product transparency within the voluntary carbon market.

U2’s ‘massive carbon footprint’

repost from earlier 2009

Dave Long/U2TOURFANS 2009The £90m U2360 tour also features three 390-tonne stages criss-crossing the globe, along with 200 crew and backstage staff.

The opening night in Barcelona’s Nou Camp last week featured the space station-style stage and satellite link-up with the International Space Station.

Perhaps appropriately, the tour’s carbon footprint can also be measured in space terms, with their colossal emissions of up to 65,000 tonnes of CO2 enough to fly Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr from earth to the planet Mars — and back.

The figure was calculated by experts from carbonfootprint.com, a company which specialises in assessing environmental damage.

U2’s CO2 emissions are the equivalent of the waste created by 6,500 average British or Irish people in an entire year, or equal to leaving a standard 100 watt lightbulb on for 159,000 years.

The band’s vast emissions are dozens of times bigger than Madonna’s carbon footprint on her 2006 world tour, despite her extravagant demands and 250 staff. She produced 1,635 tonnes in air transport.

U2’s PR agency RMP did not return a request asking if the band were buying carbon offsets to contribute towards the damage of their enormous emissions.

Carbonfootprint.com’s environment consultant Helen Roberts said: “The carbon footprint generated by U2’s 44 concerts this year is equal to carbon created by the four band members travelling the 34.125 million miles from Earth to Mars in a passenger plane.

“You also have to add the carbon emissions from the same number of concerts again next year.

“Just looking at the 44 concerts this year, the band will create enough carbon to fly all 90,000 people attending one of their Wembley concerts to Dublin. To offset this year’s carbon emissions, U2 would need to plant 20,118 trees.”

Pollution experts said U2’s 44 concerts in Europe and North America this year will produce 20,117.50 tonnes of CO2 emissions, unless the band unexpectedly decide to ship to equipment to the US, in which case the footprint would be 5091.41 tonnes.

Bono and his bandmates will generate 64.42 tonnes of CO2 by flying 22,037 miles to this year’s gigs in their private jet, currently stationed at Nice airport, near their Cote d’Azur holiday villas in the south of France.

Most of the carbon footprint comes from transporting the three 390-tonne stages, using 3,286.60 tonnes of CO2, with another 916.07 tonnes for extra equipment. Next year they are expected to play 20 concerts in North America in June and July and 20 dates in Europe in August and September.