The 1975 will headline the world’s first ‘carbon-removed’ concert at London’s O2 Arena next year. The venue announced the environmentally-conscious event this week which will use a portfolio of ‘carbon removal methods’ to physically extract the carbon generated by the events from the atmosphere and durably store it out of harm’s way.
The event is said to be a ‘game-changing’ step on the path to help the global live events industry reach genuine net-zero. The O2, which is owned by AEG Europe was the first arena in England to achieved its Greener Arena certification in 2022, and has now been working closely with A Greener Future on how to best quantify and reduce the emissions resulting from live events.
Sam Booth, director of sustainability at AEG Europe said: “We’re incredibly proud to be hosting the world’s first carbon removed events here at The O2. 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.”
For these pilot events, The O2 has also teamed up with CUR8, which specialises in the timely and durable drawdown of CO2, through high-quality carbon removal portfolios. With CUR8’s expertise, the venue can now predict the emissions of an event in advance of it taking place, based on expected outputs for categories including catering, travel/transport and electricity, which equates to over 100 tonnes per show for The 1975 at The O2.
Mark Stevenson, co-founder and chief impact officer at CUR8) 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 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.
“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.”
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 estimated based on travel surveys and covered by a 90p investment which has been incorporated into the event ticket price.
If successful, the intention for these pilot events is to create a best practice-model for venues, promoters and tours worldwide on how to execute a carbon-removed event, and more broadly, to encourage and inspire the reduction of carbon emissions in the live entertainment industry as it transitions to a low-carbon future.
The 1975 at London O2 - how to get tickets
For ticket information for The 1975’s headline shows visit the O2 website.
The O2’s sustainability practices and commitments sit under the venue’s broader umbrella initiative ‘Good Vibes All Round’, which was launched in 2019 and underpins The O2’s CSR work across the four pillars of sustainability, accessibility, charity, and community.