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Christian Aid challenges music lovers to ’Cut the Carbon’ at T in the Park 06.07.07

Cut the Carbon campaign

Unlike Live Earth which expects to attract 2 billion viewers T in the Park is a smaller gathering of music fans, smaller in number and much smaller in carbon footprint- in fact it has no carbon footprint at all. A mere 80,000 music lovers who won’t get to watch the concert on MSN because they will all be seeing it live at Balado, Perth and Kinross.

T in the Park, the biggest carbon neutral music festival in the world, is this year supporting Christian Aid’s Cut the Carbon campaign and helping to promote its 1,000 mile Cut the Carbon March across the UK which arrives in Scotland on 15 July.

Actress Katie Leung (Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films) will be taking to the stage to encourage festival goers to sign up to the Christian Aid campaign and join the Cut the Carbon marchers at a huge rally planned for 21 July in Edinburgh’s Meadows.

She said: ‘I am really looking forward to going to T in the Park. Not just because the Arctic Monkeys and The Killers are playing, but because it gives me a chance to tell people about the Cut the Carbon rally organised by Christian Aid and Stop Climate Chaos. The rally is doing something really important – highlighting what climate change is doing to the world’s poorest countries – and there are some great acts playing, too.”

The Cut the Carbon March is an 11 week 1,000 mile trek across the UK starting in Northern Ireland and ending in London on 2 October 2007. The 18 ‘core’ walkers who will complete the entire distance, come from the UK and developing countries which Christian Aid is helping to adapt to climate change. Walkers representing Kenya, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Tajikistan will carry messages about the impact of global warming in their countries and encourage members of the public to join the national campaign and make personal commitments to reducing their carbon footprint.

In keeping with the theme of walking, Christian Aid is encouraging members of the public to contribute to a ‘shoelace petition’. In return for old shoelaces they will be sent special issue ‘Cut the Carbon’ shoelaces featuring the March logo. The target is 1,000 miles of shoelaces and they will be presented to Number 10 with the written petition. Text ‘LACE’ to 84880 to join the petition and get your special ‘Cut the Carbon’ laces (texts cost £1.50).

The march will visit 70 towns and cities and more than 50,000 people are expected to join the walkers on parts of the route and attend major events. Rallies will be taking place in Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and London.

Paul Brannen, head of campaigns at Christian Aid, said: ‘Climate change is the most serious threat to humanity. Poor people in the least developed countries are already dying as a result of floods, droughts and conflict over scarce resources, such as water, that are becoming scarcer as the planet heats up.

‘They need our help to tackle climate change by reducing emissions, through individual actions and by putting pressure on the UK government to pursue climate-friendly national and international policies.’

80,000 festival goers at T in the Park will be given the chance to sign a petition to Gordon Brown, calling on the UK government to:

- Use the Climate Change Bill to insist UK-based companies publish details of the co2 emissions in their annual report, to an agreed standard

- Push a fair international agreement that works for the world’s poor and will cut global co2 emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050

In addition Christian Aid will be asking revellers ‘Are you up for the challenge?’ as it uses an inflatable bungee run to promote its new 2008 London – Paris bike ride and 3 Peaks challenge events.

Geoff Ellis, head of Big Day Out Ltd which promotes T, said: ‘We’re delighted to support this work by Christian Aid and Stop Climate Chaos. The rally in Edinburgh will help to highlight the worrying global impact of climate change, but will also encourage everyone who attends to get involved by reducing their own carbon emissions.’

George Kyle, Head of Sponsorship at founding partners Tennent’s Lager adds: “All of us at Tennent’s Lager are delighted to be able to extend our commitment to reducing the impact of T in the Park on the planet, and to underline this by backing Christian Aid’s Cut The Carbon campaign. The decision to extend this commitment is testament to the fact that the festival has grown into a frontrunner since its inception in 1994. It’s a fantastic extension to our partnership with DF Concerts and our involvement in the event that we have been able to co-fund this initiative. Hopefully other major music events will be able to follow in T’s footsteps.”

Last year T in the Park promoted Christian Aid’s Trade justice campaign, The Beat Goes On, fronted by Rhys Ifans and supported on stage by Lord of the Rings star Billy Boyd.

Peter Shield

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T in the Park

Christian Aid Cut the Carbon campaign

Support the Christian Aid Cut the Carbon March

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