Why is reducing and compensating CO₂-emissions from flights important?
When it comes to the environmental impacts of our events, the greatest gains can be achieved by reducing and compensating flights. Aviation has detrimental effects on climate change: greenhouse gasses are directly released into the atmosphere, and massive amounts of CO₂ are emitted from burning fossil fuels (see also IPCC). Incidentally, the average touring DJ’s carbon footprint is more than 17 times higher than the recommended amount (see also the Clean Scene report) – and we firmly believe that we can play an essential role in the reduction of these numbers.
What are we doing to help?
We aim to inspire artists, visitors and partners to reconsider their choice for transport and push them towards greener alternatives. For instance: a train trip from Berlin to Amsterdam saves about 100kg CO₂ – the equivalent of charging your smartphone about 12,000 times. Although the emphasis is of course on intensifying our efforts to reduce the total number of flights to our festivals in the future, our experience has taught us that flying may still be the most feasible option in some cases. But we want to make a difference nonetheless, which is why we started to compensate all artists’ flights in a credible and structural way in 2019. Now, we are expanding this by stimulating and facilitating the offsetting of flight emissions towards our visitors in an accessible way – for those who are able to do so financially. Through this, we can further reduce the impact we have on this planet together and hopefully give back to nature and future generations.
Why compensate emissions via Atmosfair?
CO₂ compensation, or offsetting, isn’t a long-term solution, but it's worth doing while we work on wider change. There are many ways to go about compensating emissions – while planting trees certainly contributes to climate protection, there are also reasons that make this approach less suitable for CO₂ compensation (for further reading, we recommend this overview, but there’s scientific sources as well). Furthermore, there's a moral component: the unequal distribution of carbon emissions mirrors the disparity of environmental harm caused by a small fraction of the population of the world at large. Every initiative to mitigate climate change helps, but for now, this is why we are more inclined to endorse the wider approach of Atmosfair (although we certainly encourage supporting organizations such as Client Earth as well).
What does Atmosfair do?
Atmosfair is a non-profit organization that invests in CO₂ compensation by promoting, developing and financing several renewable energy projects in more than 15 countries worldwide, a majority of which is covered by the CDM Gold Standard. Donations are used to start and extend these projects in the global south, such as rural electrification with solar power and mini-grids in Madagascar, small biogas plants for farmers in Nepal or efficient cookstoves in Rwanda. On the technical side, we are convinced that Atmosfair is highly credible in their offsetting calculations, as they provide the highest emission factors compared to other tools. This is probably because Atmosfair takes a relatively higher radiative forcing factor (RF=3) into account, while most calculators and reports have a factor of about 2. Such a factor must be considered because aviation increases radiative forcing in the atmosphere. This has a greater impact on climate change than just CO₂ emissions from the ground (see also ICAO).
What can you do to help?
We hope that you're interested in joining us in our mission to give back to nature and future generations, if you are in a position to do so! We have integrated options for offsetting CO₂-emissions from the most frequent departure locations in our ticket shop this year. Is your place of departure not listed here? We recommend heading over to Atmosfair and using their easy compensation tool directly!