Coldplay's Chris Martin says band won't do world tour until shows are carbon neutral

Coldplay will not launch a globe-trotting tour for their latest album due to concerns over the environmental impact of their concerts, frontman Chris Martin has said.

The band is in Jordan to perform two special shows, unveiling their new album Everyday Life, which are being streamed live on YouTube.

Martin told BBC News: "We're not touring this album. We're taking time over the next year or two, to work out how our tour can not only be sustainable [but] how can it be actively beneficial."

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Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay. Picture: Callum BuchanChris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay. Picture: Callum Buchan
Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay. Picture: Callum Buchan

All of us have to work out the best way of doing our job," he continued, saying the band wanted their future tours to "have a positive impact".

Coldplay last travelled the world with their A Head Full of Dreams Tour, which saw them stage 122 shows across four continents in 2016 and 2017.

"Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that environmentally," Martin said. "We would be disappointed if it's not carbon neutral."

Air travel issues

Coldplay by Anton Corbijn. Picture: Murray Chalmers PRColdplay by Anton Corbijn. Picture: Murray Chalmers PR
Coldplay by Anton Corbijn. Picture: Murray Chalmers PR

"The hardest thing is the flying side of things. But, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single use plastic, to have it largely solar powered."

"We've done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it's no so much taking as giving?"

Coldplay could follow the example of US rockers Pearl Jam. Since 2003, the band has calculated the metric tons of carbon dioxide output from its world tours.

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Based on band and crew flights, hotel stays, truck mileage, transport of equipment and the number of fans attending each show, Pearl Jam allocates a portion of tour profits to invest in environmental projects that serve to offset or mitigate carbon dioxide that was released into the atmosphere.

Last year the band offset 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide and invested in a carbon offset project in Alaska.


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Brit award winners the 1975, who recorded a single with climate change activist Greta Thunberg, have pledged to take action to reduce their carbon footprint.

Manager Jamie Oborne said: “We’re not going to have touring worked out in six weeks because everything’s working against you, but we are going to have it sorted out in a period of time, and 50 per cent (their carbon reduction target) is better than nothing.”

Chris Martin said songs from Coldplay's Everyday Life had been inspired in part by BBC News reports about an Afghan gardener and a Nigerian hymn composer.

"Journalism at its best finds these individual stories that reinforce our shared humanity," he said.