From VP to MC - Gore reveals stars for shows to save world

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The Independent Online

Some of the biggest names in music including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lenny Kravitz and the Black Eyed Peas are to perform in a series of rock concerts across the world to highlight the threat of global warming.

Al Gore, the former US vice-president who has become a leading campaigner on climate change, has announced details of the eight international "Live Earth" gigs which will take place across seven continents on 7 July. The concerts will bring together more than 100 acts, and organisers hope to reach 2 billion people through radio, television and internet broadcasts as well as live audiences. Cities chosen to stage the concerts include London, Johannesburg, Shanghai and Sydney with others scheduled for the US, Brazil, Japan and Antarctica. The London concert is set to be held at the new Wembley Stadium, due to open in May.

Among the confirmed performers are Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, the Foo Fighters and the rapper Pharrell Williams. Keane, Snow Patrol, Duran Duran, Bloc Party and Paolo Nutini will form the British contingent and Muse, the recent Brit Award winners, also hope to take part.

Mr Gore said he hoped the gigs would "mobilise" people on a global scale, and said a new campaign group, Save Our Selves (SOS), would be launched simultaneously. "In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to reach billions of people. We are launching SOS and Live Earth to begin a process of communication that will mobilise people all over the world to take action.

"We have to get the message of urgency and hope out. The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement. We hope to jump-start that movement right here, right now, and take it to a new level," he said.

Mr Gore has become one of the most visible activists on global warming, and his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, has been nominated for an Oscar. His announcement follows a meeting of world leaders in Washington this week in which delegates agreed that developing countries as well as the rich would have to face targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Proceeds from the concerts will contribute towards the creation of a foundation to combat climate change led by the Alliance for Climate Protection, which is chaired by Mr Gore.

The concept for the concert is based on the Live 8 gigs of 2005, organised by Bob Geldof to exert pressure on world leaders to eradicate debt of the world's poorest countries. Kevin Wall, who won an Emmy Award for producing the Live 8 concerts, is helping to organise the climate gigs.

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