The unlikely combination of Pharrell Williams and Al Gore have announced what they hope to be the largest global campaign in history, in the form of a second round of Live Earth concerts to promote awareness of climate change. The concerts will take place across all seven continents – including Antarctica – on 18 June.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the pair were joined by producer Kevin Wall to unveil an event aiming for a global television audience of 2 billion across 193 television networks.
Williams, who is the event’s creative director, did not reveal any details of who would be performing at the stadium shows, saying he was keeping surprises in store, but said: “Instead of just having people perform, we literally are going to have humanity harmonise all at once.”
Williams recalled playing Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro in 2007, describing it as “a ball”. However, he said, “You would have pundits and comedians who didn’t understand global warming and we were often ridiculed. We wanted to do something very different this time.” Williams’s commitment to raising awareness of climate change is longstanding. When he collaborated with Madonna on the 2007 single Hey You, 25 cents from each of the first million downloads was donated to the Alliance for Climate Protection.
The European leg of the event will take place in Paris, ahead of the 2015 UN climate change conference in the French capital, scheduled for December. The organisers say that 1o2 broadcasters have so far signed up to carry the event.
At the first Live Earth event – also organised by Gore and Wall – on 7 July 2007, more than 150 acts performed in 11 locations around the world. The concerts were used as the launchpad for a seven-point pledge that invited attendees:
- To demand that my country join an international treaty within the following two years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy Earth;
- To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become ‘carbon neutral’;
- To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
- To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
- To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;
- To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,
- To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.
The concerts were broadcast to more than 130 countries. Though the coverage was watched by 19 million people in the US, and won a then-record online audience of more than 8 million viewers, the event was not a ratings success in the UK, with a peak audience of about 4.5 million. That was attributed to a combination of good weather, live Wimbledon coverage, and the fact that it came just six days after the Concert for Diana, which had attracted a TV audience three times larger.
Source : www.theguardian.com