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A Greener Festival Blog # 4


by Ben Challis | 26 May 2009

Lithuania’s 20,000 open-air festival Be2gether have announced a new environmentally friendly initiative for 2009. The new initiative, - Green2gether – will ask fans to travel to the Festival by environmentally friendly methods – public transport, vehicle sharing and the bicycle – and will also focus on recycling waste at the festival.

It’s an important initiative – recent research by Julie’s Bicycle, the cross music industry group working against climate change identified that audience travel to and from festivals generated 68% of the greenhouse gas emissions – and this can be even higher for Greenfield sites with little or no public transport. New solutions including better public transport and car sharing are a must and its good to see Be2gether championing such a sensible initiative.

Now in its third year Be2gether takes place in the sixteenth century Norviliskes castle, just 50 metres from Lithuania’s border with Belarus. The 12th-14th June event will feature two stages and a dance tent and acts appearing include Gogol Bordello, Polarkreis 18, Touch & Go and Clawfingfer.

Elsewhere news reaches us that three intrepid cyclists have set off on a round-the-world bicycle trip to show the potential of solar power in the fight against climate change. Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London, saw the three off from outside City Hall on Friday the 15th May on the first leg of a nine-month journey. Susie Wheeldon, Jamie Vining and Iain Henderson will be equipped on their expedition with a set of custom built thin-film PV solar panels on their panniers.

The team setting off coincides with European Solar Day and the money raised by the expedition will go to SolarAid, a charity that trains some of the poorest communities in rural Africa to build and sell small solar devices. In Australia, Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has announced plans to build what it says is the world's largest solar power station. The station, which could have a total output of 1000 megawatts is backed with $1.4bn of public funds and the new plant will have around the three times the generating power of the next biggest site located in California.

And finally it's back to the new world of renewable energy sources and Eastern Europe again where it seems billions of Euros are expected to be ploughed in renewable energy projects over the next two years as loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) inspire additional finance from private investors. The EBRD plans to invest up to €5bn in the region's renewable energy sector before 2011 and estimates that this will attract further co-financing of around €10bn from investors to replace traditional wasteful energy sources with sustainable energy.

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