How events are contributing to deadly air pollution and what we can do about it 

The size of the problem

Diesel fuel use is a major environmental and public health issue. The UK festival, live, and sports event industry uses a huge volume of diesel through the widespread use of generators at events. The emissions from this diesel burn have a large impact on the environment and human health…

The wider issue

Air pollution from burning fossil fuels like diesel may be causing damage to every organ and cell in the human body.

  • 90% of the global population endure toxic outdoor air.
  • 30.4 billion liters of diesel were used in the UK in 2017.
  • 15% of total UK diesel use is in Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM), including static diesel generators.
  • 1 liter of diesel releases 2.97 kgs of CO2e into the atmosphere.
  • Diesel also releases various types of emissions and particulates that are damaging to health and the environment – including particulate matter [PM], oxides of nitrogen [NOx], Carbon Monoxide [CO], Carbon Dioxide [CO2], Benzenes, and other carcinogens.
  • Emissions from NRMM are not covered by Euro standards.

UK Events

  • Over 85 Million attendees every year at all types of live events in the UK, including corporate & business events, conferences, sporting events, country fairs, music events, and product launches.
  • More than 7000 major outdoor events are held each year.
  • Nearly all temporary power at events is provided by diesel generators.

This leads to:

  • A Climate Emergency – Greenhouse gases are released and become a major cause of climate disruption.
  • A Public Health Emergency – Diesel emissions have been linked to premature deaths due to heart and lung disease and strokes, as well as asthma and other respiratory conditions in children and adults. There are links with learning disabilities in children and Alzheimer’s Disease in adults.
  • Air pollution is one of the most serious environmental and human health problems facing the world today with the WHO, UN, UNICEF, British Lung Foundation and various academic bodies raising the alarm on this problem.
  • Outdoor air pollution is contributing to approximately 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK.
  • 9,000 deaths annually in London alone.