Environmental pressure group Greenpeace is up in arms over the fact that auto giant DaimlerChrysler is the main sponsor for the Live Earth concert taking place in Germany on Saturday.
Greenpeace says a company that produces gas-guzzling vehicles is not the right sponsor
The concerts themselves are supposed to highlight the sorry state of the planet and the increasing damage that the human race is doing to the environment. But the Live Earth shows which will take place around the world this Saturday are under fire due to the German event being sponsored by a major automotive company.
Environmental pressure group Greenpeace is livid that the Live Earth concert in Hamburg will be broadcast to the world with the name of DaimlerChrysler splashed all over it. The fact that Daimler manufactures large, pollution-spewing automobiles, Greenpeace claims, means that a more inappropriate sponsor than the car giant would be hard to find.
Greenpeace are also angry that the company's Smart car is the official vehicle of the Live Earth artists and models are being used at the Hamburg gig to ferry stars such as Colombian singer Shakira around. The environmentalists claim that the car isn't even environmentally friendly as it can only carry two people.
They also state that the vehicles in DaimlerChrysler's fleet continue to have an average level of CO2 emissions of 186 grams per kilometer despite an industry commitment to reduce emissions to 140 grams per kilometer.
Official car the "poster child" for auto industry
Daimler says the Fortwo leads the environmental pack
DaimlerChrysler have hit back saying that the Smart Fortwo range has one of the lowest emission ratings in the world, churning out only 88 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer and was the "poster child" for the auto industry's attempts to address the damage caused by emissions. In an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, Daimler spokesperson Christoph Horn said that the company was committed to reducing CO2 emissions, and spent €1.4 billion ($1.9bn) every year on reducing the fuel consumption of its fleet.
Greenpeace climate expert Thomas Breuer issued a statement saying that while it was a good idea to use global concerts to increase awareness about climate change, it would have been far more credible for the organizers of Live Earth to get sponsors from the renewable energies industry instead of a major auto manufacturer.
Greenpeace urges support for projects
Breuer wants renewable energy projects to benefit
He urged the Live Earth organizers to channel as much of the ticket revenue as possible to environmental projects in the poorest regions of the world focusing on sustainable energy sources such as wind or solar energy.
The Live Earth concerts, conceived by former US vice president Al Gore as a way of raising consciousness over rising greenhouse gas emissions, begin in Australia in the early hours of Saturday. The series of concerts will continue around the globe throughout the day and culminate in a massive gig on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro 24-hours after the event began. All the artists involved appear for free.