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Massive Attack commission scientists to map carbon footprint of touring

The Bristol-based band say 'offsetting' is not enough as they push for collective action on climate change

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 29th Nov 2019

Massive Attack have commissioned a team of scientists to 'map the full carbon footprint of typical tour cycles' with an aim to reduce the environmental impact of the live music industry.

In an article in the Guardian, Massive Attack's Robert Del Naja said that over the past two decades the band had 'paid to have trees planted, prohibited the use of single-use plastics and travelled by train wherever feasible', as well as 'explored advanced carbon offset models' and even 'discussed ending touring altogether'.

However, 'offsetting', he writes, is problematic as 'ultimately carbon offsetting transfers emissions from one place to another rather than reducing them'. 

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Now the Bristol-based band have partnered with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to study three key areas where CO2 emissions from touring could be reduced: band travel and production, audience transport and venue.

Massive Attack say the findings - produced from data collected during the band's touring and recording schedule - will then be shared with other artists, promoters, festivals and venues to develop a more multilateral approach to the climate crisis.

Some musicians have come under fire in recent years for vocally campaigning for climate change while embarking on large-scale global tours. Coldplay recently announced that they would not tour their latest album, Everyday Life, because of the environmental impact, while Billie Eilish offered fans a chance to gain tickets to her gigs by fighting climate change.


Image: Massive Attack

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