Copenhagen fails to deliver

January 13, 2010

After considerable anticipation for a comprehensive, international political agreement to combat climate change, the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen which took place in December, ended with disappointing results. With activists making their voice heard and recriminations that China sabotaged any prospect of progress, the Summit was never far from some form of controversy.

Although some leaders described the Summit as having been a useful beginning to a new global consensus towards limiting green house gas emissions, most acknowledged the talks had failed to produce anything legally binding. The Copenhagen ‘accord’, as its been named, recognises the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2ºC but does not contain commitments to emission reductions to achieve that goal. The challenge will be now to turn what has been agreed politically in Copenhagen into something real, measurable and verifiable.

Avatar’s green vision flying high

James Cameron’s leap into the third dimension has been heralded a spectacular success as after only three weeks Avatar became the fifth film in history to cross the $1 Billion mark. However there’s more to this blockbuster than big-budget special effects, as this movie with a green message appears to have captured the public’s imagination. Interviews with Cameron have shown his intent to make the film a green parable, derived from his own eco credentials. This runaway success of a film is currently looking un-stoppable and has really set the standard for 3D films.

The cycling cinema revolution

Is pedal powered cinema the future? Well this quirky green initiative certainly seems to be causing a buzz. Magnificent Revolution is a London based not-for-profit education project established in 2007 when it built a bicycle powered cinema at the Big Chill Festival. Since then it has been gaining momentum in a quest to help people understand energy use, climate change and guiding people’s transition to low carbon lifestyles in a fun and engaging way with adults and children alike.

The pedal powered cinema system uses 10 bikes and 20 legs to power 600W of audio visual equipment for screening films or projections, with an in-built interactive feedback system informing cyclists and the audience about how much power they’re generating. Another innovative use of their pedal power systems was a bicycle-powered popcorn machine at the UK Premiere of Age of Stupid. Find out more at


A recent study estimated that screen production (film and TV) in London alone produces 125,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.


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