Pop television programme goes carbon-neutral

The pop music event, the Brit Awards, is to be the first ever television programme to be carbon neutral, Future Forests, the carbon neutral organisation, has announced.

The Brit Awards, one of the UK’s premier pop events which is due to be broadcast at the end of February, has begun a campaign to raise awareness about carbon dioxide emissions and the greenhouse effect. The campaign, launched by television hosts Ant and Dec and the pop band Atomic Kitten, aims to bring the message to young people across the country that we are all responsible for the greenhouse effect.

As well as broadcasting the message, the BRIT Awards will offset all the CO2 emissions created by the staging and transmission of the event, and of those created by the projected 5 million TV sets of the 12.5 million viewing audience. This totals some 1443 tonnes of CO2 and means that more than eight hectares of indigenous trees will be planted by Future Forests over the next two months in four sites across the UK.

“My thanks to the music industry and the broadcasters of this event for making such an important statement and taking our message to the next level,” said Dan Morrell, eco-activist and founder of Future Forests, at the Brits nominations event. “Over 12.5 million viewers will have the chance to join our campaign, and to take responsibility for their own emissions. If we all take action – reducing emissions at source as well as ‘offsetting’ through professional tree planting schemes – we will have a huge impact, together we will have a huge voice for the future.”

The carbon-neutral status of the event has been calculated by the assessment of all the activities surrounding the BRIT Awards 2001, including the production of the event, travel to the event (87,000km (54,000 miles) by car, 3,047,100km (1.9 million miles) by short haul flights, and 1,834,326km (1.1 million miles) by long haul flights), its broadcast and the energy used by the 10 million UK viewers switching on their TV sets, and visits to the website – calculating the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere and planting sufficient trees to absorb, over time, those emissions and convert them into oxygen and wood. The trees will be planted in natural woodland areas the size of eight Wembley football pitches, says Future Forests.

“The BRIT Awards will create a broadcasting first as a first Carbon Neutral broadcast,” said Lisa Anderson, Executive Producer of the BRIT Awards. “But more important is the chance to help our future by reaching enough people to really make a difference. As the industry showpiece event we have made our position clear, we hope that our audience will share our future vision and become carbon neutral.”

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