_Linda Adams is Head of Partnerships for the climate action platform Ecologi. Here she shares her thoughts on how the music industry can lead the way in climate action and reduce carbon emissions. _
When people think about the causes of climate change, the music industry may not receive as much criticism as other sectors that have a visible and high-profile environmental impact.
We don’t always see or hear about music’s impact on the planet – which means it’s rarely part of the climate change conversation.
However, the music world has begun to recognize the importance of limiting the carbon emissions associated with the industry. Record labels and artists have teamed up to fight climate action by signing the Music pact for the climate.
Coldplay has announced that their next tour will reduce carbon emissions by 50% compared to their previous tour. Ed Sheeran intends to regenerate the UK as much as possible.
Recent figures suggest that live music in the UK alone generates 405,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. This makes him a huge contributor to climate change and underscores the need for more artists and their fanbases to follow suit.
Music is globally loved and culturally prevalent, and holds an important place in the lives of many people. It is therefore in the interest of all music fans to find more sustainable ways to continue to enjoy and experience music.
the The music industry must assess the impact it has on the planet and propose solutions to minimize the damage it causes.
To effectively fight climate change, artists must actively work in collaboration with their record labels and other musicians. There needs to be a concerted effort within the industry to take action; it is not enough for a few artists to assume their responsibilities and operate alone.
Groups such as Music declares urgency are already showing that the industry is taking a step in the right direction, with artists coming together to declare a climate emergency.
Artists can also work with organizations to help offset their carbon emissions. Liam Payne, Passengerand Royal Palace for example, are currently working with Ecologi to offset their CO2 emissions by supporting carbon reduction projects, as well as funding tree planting projects.
Passenger recently took their carbon-reduction journey a step further by ensuring that their latest albums were all made from 100% recycled materials. Hannah Trigwell, another artist who has partnered with Ecologi, documented its carbon footprint to spend a day in the studio.
By making small choices like these, artists can significantly reduce their carbon footprint.
Musicians can also collaborate with event organizers to make more conscious decisions about the concerts and festivals they perform at. By choosing to play primarily at events that prioritize sustainability, artists send a clear message to their fans while putting pressure on event organizers to meet expected environmental standards.
One event that is already taking the necessary steps is the Shambala Festival, which has removed meat from its on-site catering and will power this year’s event with 100% renewable energy.
Coldplay, who refused to start his next world tour until measures are put in place to ensure emissions are reduced, represent the kind of power and influence that artists can have if they take concrete action and hold event organizers to their targets of durability.
lead by example
While it is important for artists to campaign and speak out on climate action, it is not enough to bring about real change. They must lead by example and commit to defining and meeting the requirements of their own climate initiatives.
Renewable energy can be used to power the lighting and sound systems involved in their stage performances, ensure tour routes are as efficient as possible, and work with organizers to provide low-emission public transport options to the fans who go to their concerts.
By focusing their activities on sustainability, artists can pave the way for the entertainment industry to ensure its compatibility with the climate crisis. Through active campaigning and leading by example in their efforts, artists can also have an even wider impact by encouraging and enabling their fans to follow their lead.
Limit carbon emissions without limiting creativity
The most obvious solution might be to restrict and limit touring and play virtual shows instead. Dua Lipa hosted a virtual concert as her tour was postponed during the pandemic and Travis Scott teamed up with Fortnite to host a virtual concert in the digital gaming world.
Although these represent a new solution to minimize emissions, they do not replace the joy of discovering music at a live concert. One answer to this could be a hybrid model in which artists present both virtual shows and live tour dates to minimize the impact of live tour broadcasts.
Warner Music Group, for example, is creating a virtual concert hall within the metaverseallowing artists to engage with fans remotely.
Through their reach and influence with their fans, and by being proactive and taking action, global artists can be at the forefront of the climate change movement. It is only through a concerted global effort and a comprehensive reassessment of the music industry’s approach to production and performance that the immediate and effective climate action needed can take place.
The love of music connects artists to their fans. This same dynamic can unite them in the collective fight against climate change. By engaging on the issue, raising awareness and holding each other accountable, artists and fans can have a real impact on both the music industry and global culture.