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Massive Attack taking climate scientists on tour to study carbon footprint of live music

By | Published on Monday 2 December 2019

Massive Attack

While Coldplay are cancelling their touring plans in order to work out how to be more environmentally friendly when travelling the world, Massive Attack are adopting another approach – taking climate scientists out on the road with them.

The University Of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre will analyse data collected during Massive Attack’s upcoming tour dates, aiming to identify where improvements can be made to reduce the carbon footprint of touring. The results will be shared with the wider music industry, with a view to reducing the environmental impact of live music across the board.

“For some time, despite taking consistent steps to reduce the environmental impact associated with an internationally touring music group, we’ve been concerned and preoccupied with the carbon footprint of our schedules and the wider impact of our sector overall”, Massive Attack said in a statement last week.

“This concern has deepened with each new report from the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, and the universal acceptance of the climate and biodiversity emergency”. they continued. “Any unilateral statement or protest we make alone as one band will not make a meaningful difference. In pursuing systemic change, there is no substitute for collective action”.

“In contribution to this action”, they then explained, “we’re announcing the commission of the renowned Tyndall Centre For Climate Change Research at the University Of Manchester – a body that brings together scientists, economists, engineers and social scientists to research options to mitigate global warming – to map thoroughly the carbon footprint of band tour cycles, and to present options that can be implemented quickly to begin a meaningful reduction of impact”.

Explaining further, Dr Chris Jones, Research Fellow at Tyndall Manchester, added: “We will be working with Massive Attack to look at sources of carbon emissions from a band’s touring schedule. Every industry has varying degrees of carbon impact to address and we need partnerships like this one to look at reducing carbon emissions across the board”.

“It’s more effective to have a sustained process of emissions reductions across the sector than for individual artists to quit live performances”, he went on. “It will likely mean a major shift in how things are done now, involving not just the band but the rest of the business and the audience”.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin recently announced that his band would not be touring in support of new album ‘Everyday Life’ in order to work out how live music can be not only “sustainable, but how can it be actively beneficial” to the environment.