Motor-head Eric Bana turns car movie carbon neutral

SYDNEY Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:16am EST

Australian actor Eric Bana poses for photographers during a telecommunications promotional event in Sydney July 19, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Australian actor Eric Bana poses for photographers during a telecommunications promotional event in Sydney July 19, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Tim Wimborne

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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Hollywood star Eric Bana and the producers of his new motor-racing movie have teamed up with an Australian environmental group to offset the pollution caused during filming, saying they love cars but love the planet more.

Melbourne-based film group Whyte House Productions along with Bana's company Pick Up Truck Pictures are due to release next month "Love The Beast," a film about the Australian actor's obsession with cars and racing.

The comedy, which is 40-year-old Bana's directorial debut, also features a few other celebrity motor-heads including U.S. talk show host Jay Leno, Jeremy Clarkson who hosts the TV show "Top Gear" and TV psychologist Dr. Phil.

The movie is about the life-long obsession with cars held by Bana, star of such movies as "The Hulk," "Munich" and "The Other Boleyn Girl," and in particular his love of his very first car, a 1973 Ford Falcon coupe aka "The Beast."

After years of precious restoration, Bana and three friends

decide to enter the car into one of the most grueling and dangerous motor races, the week-long Targa Tasmania Rally.

Citing concern about the environment, the film's production team partnered with non-profit group Climate Positive to calculate the carbon emissions from transporting the cast and crew, hotel accommodation and filming so they could account for them.

"In making a film about the love of motorsport and cars we were mindful of the environmental message we were sending," Peter Hill, one of the film's producers, said in a statement.

"We love cars but love the planet more, and wanted to ensure we made a film in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Offsetting the carbon emissions is one of the steps we took to minimize the impact on the environment."

The producers worked with Climate Positive to offset the greenhouse gas emissions with "projects that have a renewable energy component, as well as investing in the restoration of forest ecosystems," said a Climate Positive statement.

"By measuring and offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions associated with "Love The Beast" the producers have reduced the environmental impact associated with making the film," it added.

Environmental pollution is a politically charged issue in Australia, the world's biggest coal exporter which accounts for 1.5 percent of global carbon emissions but is one of the highest per-capita polluters.

The country's deadliest bushfires this month, which killed about 200 people, have also increased pressure on the government to take firm action on climate change.

Australia has promised to introduce carbon trading in July 2010 as part of efforts to fight global warming and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

(Writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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