India to host new Live Earth concert

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MUMBAI: India is to host a Live Earth concert later this year, featuring stars from the world of music, film and television to raise funds for solar energy, organizers announced Thursday.

The event will take place in Mumbai on December 7, Live Earth founder Kevin Wall said, predicting it would be one of the biggest events ever produced here and one of the major events on television.

If you re alive in India, somewhere, somehow, you can see or hear or become part of this event, he told a news conference.

Wall, who with former US vice-president Al Gore organized a series of concerts on seven continents over 24 hours on July 7 last year, said the India show would be taken live by more than 100 countries.

A detailed line-up of those involved would be announced in the coming weeks, but the news conference was shown a video message from US rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who said he would be taking part.

I can t wait to come to Mumbai on December 7, he added.

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan also said he would be participating, with members of his family, including his actor son Abhishek, and daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss World and model.

Live Earth India s creative director will be the acclaimed Indian film director, Shekhar Kapur, Wall said.

Proceeds from the concert will go to projects including the Light A Billion Lives campaign, supported by the chairman of the UN s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri.

The scheme aims to provide sustainable, solar-powered lanterns to the estimated 1. 6 billion people around the world who do not have access to electricity.

Wall said Live Earth, which last year was seen by more than two billion people around the world, had always had India in mind when planning a follow-up.

Gore, speaking via satellite-link from the United States, said India was chosen because it is the world s largest democracy, one of the oldest and greatest civilizations, but also because of its emerging economic clout on the global stage.

Because of all those factors, it is poised to play a tremendous leadership role as we begin the 21st century, he added.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said the country could combine its traditional respect for the environment with the latest technologies to help cut greenhouse gas emissions in its energy-hungry drive for growth.

We are asking respectfully that India considers meeting the following challenge: that within 10 years, all new electricity generation will come from renewable sources, he said.

We are going to help by saying that all the proceeds from Live Earth will go to the solar lanterns project, Light A Billion Lives.

Pachauri, who with the IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel with Gore, said urgent action was required to tackle climate change, as severe floods and droughts become more prevalent and glaciers melt.

India has not caused these problems. The poor countries of the world have not caused these problems. This is essentially a by-product of the industrialized world for the last 150 years, he told reporters.

India will show the way… by working and joining hands with the poorest in the world. – AFP

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