Net-zero: How Coldplay plans to make its 2022 world tour climate-positive

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Coldplay has pledged to make its next world tour, Music of the Spheres, as sustainable as possible, aiming to have a net-zero carbon footprint and make the concerts climate positive – reducing emissions more than the carbon it produces.

In 2019, the British band announced that it was quitting touring until they could find ways to do it more sustainably. 

“We’ve spent the last two years consulting with environmental experts to make this tour as sustainable as possible and, just as importantly, to harness the tour’s potential to push things forward,” said Coldplay in a statement.

Net-zero carbon footprint

Swiss company Climeworks, whose machines remove and store carbon dioxide from the air and use it in commercial products such as chips or carbonated drinks, will provide the carbon removal technology in the plan.

Climeworks said Coldplay chose to use its technological approach to carbon capture because the band was “convinced by its permanence and measurable benefits”.

“It is already proven that carbon removal at scale is a must on the current emissions pathway, and technological solutions will be needed,” said Christoph Gerald, CEO and co-founder, Climeworks.

“We are very inspired to see public figures like Coldplay seizing the magnitude of the challenge and acting boldly by working towards ambitious emissions reduction and removing the unavoidable part.”

In addition, the tour will fund the reforestation and lifelong protection of new trees by including one tree for every ticket sold.

“We have set ourselves a science-led target of 50 per cent reduction in our CO2 emissions using the ‘absolute contraction’ method,” said Coldplay.

“We pledge to drawdown any unavoidable emissions according to the Oxford Principles for Net-Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting.”

Sustainable Energy and Transport

Coldplay aims for a 50-per-cent reduction in emissions compared to its last tour in 2016. To achieve this, the concerts would be powered with fully renewable energy from solar installations, cooking oil waste, a kinetic stadium floor, and electricity-generating power bikes that fans can use to help power the show’s rechargeable battery.

The tour’s rechargeable mobile battery is a first-of-its-kind, created in partnership with BMW using recyclable BMW i3 batteries.

To reduce transport emissions, the band will avoid charter flights and pay a surcharge to use and supply Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) made from renewable waste materials.

The show has committed to using only local equipment and materials to minimise freight emissions, while the stage will be built from low-carbon, reusable materials, including recycled steel and bamboo. 

Fans are encouraged to use low-carbon transport to and from the shows via an official tour app that rewards them with discounts. Furthermore, each venue will provide a “sustainability rider” to set out the best environmental practices.

Cold Play’s Net-Zero World Tour Impact

The band said they are aware that despite their best efforts, the tour will still have a significant carbon footprint. That’s why they committed to drawing down more carbon dioxide than the tour will produce through nature-based projects such as reforestation, rewilding, soil generation, carbon capture, and renewable energy. 

They also partnered with climate change researchers at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute to quantify the tour’s impact on the environment. 

“We won’t get everything right, but we’re committed to doing everything we can and sharing what we learn. It’s a work in progress, and we’re grateful for the help we’ve had so far,” the band concluded. 

The Music of the Spheres world tour will start in Costa Rica on March 18 and then travel to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the US, Germany, Poland, France, Belgium and the UK. 

Full details of the sustainability plan are available on the band’s official website.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.



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