These events will use a combination of carbon removal methods to physically extract the carbon generated by the events from the atmosphere and durably store it.
Since achieving its Greener Arena certification in December 2022 – the first arena in England to do so – The O2, which is owned and operated by AEG Europe, has been working closely with A Greener Future on how to best reduce the emissions resulting from live events.
For The 1975 performances, which mark a huge step towards the global live events industry reaching genuine net-zero, The O2 has also teamed up with Cur8, which specialises in the drawdown of CO2 through high-quality carbon removal portfolios. Alongside A Greener Future’s expertise, the arena is able to predict the emissions of an event in advance of it taking place, based on expected outputs for categories including catering, travel/transport and electricity. For The 1975 at The O2, this equates to over 100 tonnes per show.
Using this data, the cost of removing the carbon associated with the events will be folded into the existing business model. AEG Europe, alongside The O2 arena’s hospitality partner Levy UK & Ireland, have accounted for the removal costs in their operations, while emissions for audience travel are based on travel surveys and covered by a 90p investment incorporated into the event ticket price.
If successful, the aim for these pilot events with The 1975 is to create a practice-model for venues, promoters and tours worldwide on how to execute a carbon-removed event, and more broadly, to encourage the reduction of carbon emissions in the live entertainment industry.
“We’re incredibly proud to be hosting the world’s first carbon-removed events here at The O2,” said Sam Booth, director of sustainability at AEG Europe. “The perfect large-scale carbon-free event does not currently exist, but while the industry continues to innovate and improve to reduce emissions to their lowest possible level, carbon removals will remain an important piece of the puzzle. As a world-leading venue, we have a responsibility to create a path for real change, and it’s our hope that this event will not only deliver the same best-in-class experience that fans expect at The O2, but also one that’s supporting vital climate work and is better for the planet. Thank you to The 1975, Cur8, A Greener Future and all of our partners who have collaborated with us on this – it’s going to be game-changing not just for us but the industry as a whole, and is a fantastic way to kick off an exciting 2024 at The O2.”
Cur8’s co-Founder and chief impact officer, Mark Stevenson, added: “The world desperately needs to decarbonise, and we’ve been hugely impressed with the work that The O2 has been doing with A Greener Future to continually drive down their emissions. What’s great about these shows is that we can demonstrate that it is now possible to fold the cost of removing the residual CO2 into the existing business model, such that fans won’t notice any difference in the gig experience. As The O2 continues to drive down emissions going forward, the investment per gig for carbon removals will only get smaller. It's a complete win-win-win – for artists and their fans who care about the climate crisis, for venues and the live events supply chain, who can now realise a route to a scientifically and legally compliant net-zero position, while helping Cur8 to invest in building the carbon removals operating system for the planet.”