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UK industry declares ‘climate emergency’

The new Music Declares Emergency (MDE) group aims to reduce the environmental impact of the music business while lobbying government to play its part

By IQ on 12 Jul 2019

Savages’ Fay Milton, MDE board member: "I realised something had to change"

Savages’ Fay Milton, MDE board member: "I realised something had to change"


image © Guillaume Sautereau

A coalition of UK artists, music companies and associations have issued a declaration of a ‘climate and ecological emergency’, calling on governments to do more to combat global warming while pledging to make their businesses more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

The declaration, issued today (12 July), is administered by the newly formed Music Declares Emergency (MDE) group. Signatories include promoters SJM Concerts, Festival Republic and Crosstown Concerts, Coda Agency, Music Venue Trust, artists Suede, Wolf Alice and Idles, and several labels and music publishers.

Alison Tickell, MD of Julie’s Bicycle, a member of the MDE working group, says the declaration represents a significant moment in the British music industry’s collective response to climate change. “It has never been more important to understand the gravity of the climate crisis and to do more,” says Tickell. “Music Declares Emergency was created to enable the UK music industry to declare a climate and ecological emergency, to accelerate collaboration and ambition in order to meet critical targets, and to call on government to use their policy and investment tools to help us to reach those goals.”

The declaration reads:

  • We call on governments and media institutions to tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency
  • We call on governments to act now to reverse biodiversity loss and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2030
  • We recognise that the emergency has arisen from global injustices and will work towards systemic change to protect life on Earth
  • We acknowledge the environmental impact of music industry practices and commit to taking urgent action.

We will:

  • Jointly support one another, sharing expertise as a collective industry and community
  • Speak up and out about the climate and ecological emergency
  • Work towards making our businesses ecologically sustainable and regenerative

“We face a climate and ecological emergency and the only proportionate response is to act boldly and act now”

Mike Smith, managing director of MDE signatory Warner Chappell Music UK, comments: “It’s vital that we back this campaign. The threat from climate change is real and we all need to play our part in combating it. Music may not have the impact of some other industries, but we can still do more to reduce our own carbon footprint and use our platform to spread the message that action needs to be taken.”

“As I sat at a music festival in the desert, watching Extinction Rebellion’s action unfold so beautifully in London, I realised that something had to change,” adds Savages drummer and MDE working group member Fay Milton. “It seemed like the music world had lost touch with reality, partying like there’s no tomorrow, when ‘no tomorrow’ has become the forecast. On realising I wasn’t alone with these thoughts, Music Declares Emergency was born.

“The momentum of support has been huge and making a declaration is just the first step to creating real change. We face a climate and ecological emergency and the only proportionate response is to act boldly and act now.”

Organisations and individuals in the music industry can sign the declaration at www.musicdeclares.net.

Sustainability in the live business and the industry’s response to climate change will once again take centre stage at the 12th Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), which takes place next March. GEI11 saw MDE signatory Coda partner with A Greener Festival to launch the first-ever Green Artist Rider

 


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