One day’s shoot on flagship BBC nature doc Planet Earth can generate 28 tonnes of carbon.
The film and TV industries are “not doing enough” to combat climate change, according to a panel of industry experts.
Speaking at the third annual ‘Greening the Screen’ event organised by BAFTA and the BFI on Wednesday, Howard Ella, producer on BBC crime drama The Interceptor, said:
“Across the industry, we are absolutely not doing enough. Producers have so much power and the impetus for change has to come from the very top.”
On average, the production of one hour of television generates 9.4 tonnes of carbon.
The industry is “generally the worst culprit when it comes to carbon emissions” according to BBC cinematographer Paul Williams, who revealed that one day’s shoot on flagship BBC nature doc Planet Earth generated 28 tonnes of carbon.
He added: “One tonne of carbon takes up the volume of around one London bus, that’s the weight of a small baby elephant.”
On BBC series Wonders of the Monsoon, Williams said, they saved at least six return flights by opting to use international camera crew who already lived on location. This saved 160 tonnes of carbon, which is equivalent to the annual carbon usage of 28 houses.
Tim Scoones, executive producer of the BBC natural history unit, called on industry to do more to help the environment.
He said: “If we don’t make an effort ourselves in the industry, then we should all just go home frankly, because if we don’t do it then no one will.”
Carol Comley, head of strategic development at the British Film Institute (BFI), highlighted the importance of awareness-raising events such as Greening the Screen.
She said: “’Greening the Screen’ is helping us to think differently about these very important issues.”
“We must stop talking about not making it painful to change our ways, and start making it easy.”
A specially procured information pack on how to reduce carbon footprint in film and TV is being produced by the organisers of the event. It is available on request from the ‘Greening Film’ website.