Climate coalition concerned about ebay pledge

The charity coalition behind the upcoming Live Earth concert has reacted with concern to a pledge by web auction site ebay that tickets sold on the site will be subject to a 20 per cent donation to charity.

Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of environment, development and humanitarian organisations, has expressed dissatisfaction that people are seeking to make a profit by re-selling tickets for the July concert, which has been arranged to raise awareness of climate change. The tickets, which were sold by Live Earth UK for £55, now have a resale value of approximately £250.

“We have no control over what happens with the tickets and their sale and purchase on ebay,” said Ashok Sinha, director of Stop Climate Chaos, which is also a registered charity in its own right. “We are disappointed that people will seek to make money out of a social cause but that is their choice. We would hope that instead of trying to make money, people would donate all profits to an organisation dealing with the climate change issue.”

Meanwhile a spokeswoman for Live Earth UK emphasised that the 20 per cent levy was an “independent decision” by ebay. “While we acknowledge the charity donation, we are not comfortable with people making money from what is a social issue,” she said.

However, ebay claims that the re-sale of tickets is adding to awareness of the issue.

“In this case we are providing an opportunity to raise even more money for charity,” said a spokesman. “The charity has already benefited from the original sale of the ticket, and now they receive even more money they wouldn’t otherwise have seen.

“We chose the figure of 20 per cent to strike a balance between on the one hand allowing people to recoup money they have spent on spare tickets and on the other to encourage them to make a significant and worthwhile contribution,” he added.

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