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Coldplay cut carbon emissions by 59 per cent on world tour

Three years ago, the band pledged to put on one of the greenest tours in history. In light of updates that they’ve exceeded their climate change target by almost 10 per cent, they’re being praised as ‘setting a new standard’ for eco-conscious approaches to live music.

In 2019, world-famous artist Chris Martin vowed never to tour again unless it was done sustainably and with a positive impact.

Coldplay’s frontman has long advocated for greater environmental efforts in the industry, believing that we all have a responsibility to lead by example in the face of the climate crisis and that inaction is not an option if we’re to preserve our planet for future generations.

Two years later, this stance – echoed by his fellow bandmates – is what prompted Coldplay to announce a 12-point plan to lower emissions while touring and make each gig as clean and green as possible.

This included using solar instillations, power bikes, and a kinetic stadium floor (where dancing fans generate energy) to ‘charge show batteries.’

They also pledged to plant one tree for every ticket sold which, given Coldplay’s previous commercial successes, would mean tens of thousands introduced to forests and wildlife areas across the globe.

Additionally, the strategy stipulated that attendees would receive discounts for using low carbon transport, that all merchandise would be sustainably made and ethically sourced, that free drinking water would be made available to all, that plastic bottles would be eliminated from venues, and that 10 per cent of earnings would be donated to eco-initiatives.

At the time, these ambitious promises were met with caution by those worried that the band was greenwashing its audience and using climate consciousness to boost sales and its image.

They argued that it would simply be better not to tour at all, especially if doing so would mean travelling exclusively by private jet which, thanks to Taylor Swift, we know to be hugely popular among the elite – and hugely environmentally-unfriendly.

‘There’s always the question of why tour at all? We don’t really have anything to say except we would really like to,’ responded Martin.

‘We could stay at home and that may be better. But we want to connect with people and do it in the cleanest way possible. It’s not a purely charitable exercise. We are trying to prove that capitalism can be a bit more compassionate and eco-conscious.’

Staying true to his word and leaving critics pleasantly surprised, today’s reality is an undeniably positive one.

On Monday, Coldplay gave an update on their progress, saying that the first run of Music of the Spheres saw a 59 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with their previous world tour.

Not only have the in-venue electricity-producing methods been a massive success, but they’ve cut down on air travel, 72 per cent of waste has been diverted from landfill and sent for reuse, recycling, and composting, and seven million saplings have been planted.

‘As a band, and as an industry, we’re a long way from where we need to be on this,’ Coldplay said in a statement.

‘But we’re grateful for everyone’s help so far, and we salute everyone who’s making efforts to push things in the right direction.’

John E Fernandez, a professor at MIT (which verified Coldplay’s claims), praised the band for ‘setting a new standard’ for the entire music industry.

‘With each subsequent year of their tour, they demonstrate an evolving vision and expanded commitment to move the entire music industry toward true and humane sustainability and planetary resilience,’ he said.

‘From collecting unprecedented amounts of data to taking specific actions today based on rigorous analysis, Coldplay is modelling a trajectory toward a low carbon, biodiverse. and equitable future.’