Coldplays Chris Martin sitting crosslegged
Coldplay’s Chris Martin, May 2023 (Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Coldplay Reduce Tour Carbon Emissions by Nearly Half, Narrowly Missing Target

Green measures on the Music of the Spheres tour, monitored by MIT, are “a good start, but clearly there’s still room for improvement,” the band said

Coldplay have so far reduced carbon emissions by 47 percent on their Music of the Spheres tour, narrowly missing their 50 percent target, the band said in an update. The results are “scientifically rigorous,” according to Professor John E. Fernandez of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is monitoring the study. The band said green measures have included implementing an electric battery system to run the entire show, using electric vehicles and alternative fuels where possible, and reducing waste and plastic. Coldplay have also funded planting more than 5 million trees—one for each concert attendee.

In a statement, Coldplay said, “This is a good start—and something that our incredible crew should be very proud of—but clearly there’s still room for improvement.” They thanked fans for engaging with their initiatives, which include using “power bikes and kinetic dance floors” to charge the electric batteries. They tried to address the question of audience transport—the greatest source of emissions in the touring industry—by recommending lower-emission options through a dedicated app.

The 47 percent reduction is calculated on a show-by-show basis versus their 2016-17 stadium tour. (Coldplay declined to tour behind their 2019 album, Everyday Life, citing ecological concerns.) When the Music of the Spheres World Tour was announced, the band said in a press release that 10 percent of all tour earnings would enter a fund for “environmental and socially conscious causes.”

Fernandez, the MIT professor, said in today’s announcement that the institute’s Environmental Solutions Initiative “endorses this work as an important and substantive step toward a new era of eventually achieving carbon neutral music events by major artists. The band deserves significant praise in commissioning the work and acting as the vanguard for the global music industry as it begins to take seriously the reality of living and making music in the Anthropocene.”