News article

Could future live events help cool the planet? 

How London’s O2 removed over 540 tonnes of carbon during pilot event

23 April 2024

Last week, London's O2 arena publicised the results from its carbon removal pilot. Fans of The 1975 contributed to carbon removal projects when purchasing tickets to the band's February shows at the London event location. As a result, 540 tonnes of carbon were removed. This is the same amount of carbon as the annual electricity usage of 395 average homes.

This is a fantastic example of how an innovative initiative can easily involve everyone to help slow down global warming. By including a small contribution to climate projects into the ticket price, the venue was able to address residual emissions without bearing the brunt of the cost. At the same time, fans are being involved in the action. Very cool! 👏

Why involve fans you ask?

A large amount of live event emissions come from fan travel. This is similar across other major event types like business conventions or sporting events. In the case of the O2, over 75%. This way, everyone can assume responsibility and do their part. In comparison, the operational emissions only added up to 3.95%. A figure which is low thanks to the O2's genuine reduction initiatives (read more in the article).

Now, how exactly was the carbon removed?

Contributions went towards Enhanced Rock Weathering and Biochar projects.

🪨 Weathering is a natural process that turns carbon dioxide into minerals. Each year, it removes about 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But what if we could make that process go faster? That's the idea behind enhanced weathering.

We take silicate rocks, like basalt and olivine, and grind them into a powder. This powder is then spread over large areas of soil, where it reacts with carbon dioxide to form stable minerals that store the carbon. By 2050, this method could remove between 2-4 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year.

🔥 Biochar is a kind of charcoal that we get from burning plant materials like wood chips, leaves, or dead plants, but with very little oxygen. This process, known as pyrolysis, was first used by people living in the Amazon basin to create fertile soils, known as terra preta or "dark earth".

The cool part? The heat produced during pyrolysis can be harnessed and used as a form of clean energy.

Biochar looks a bit like coal, but it's black, lightweight, and full of little holes. When added to soil or compost, it can really boost its health and fertility. It creates a great home for beneficial microbes, helps protect plant roots, and fights off pests. And because it's so pure, biochar doesn't break down, making it a long-lasting addition to the soil and a great way to store carbon.

What's next?

It’ll be interesting to see if the venue will continue to roll out the initiative, if other venues will follow and whether artists may get involved and contribute themselves. Perhaps something to watch out for for Taylor’s Eras Tour coming to Wembley later this year?🤞

How CarbonClick can help

While we weren't involved in this great pilot, CarbonClick partners with sports and event organisations around the world to combat residual emissions. How? By engaging fans and attendees in meaningful and transparent carbon offsetting, contributing to high quality, certified climate projects. Our technology easily integrates into existing user journeys, such as ticketing. CarbonClick is climate action at the click of a button. If you’re interested in finding more about us 👉

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