High profile artists such as Radiohead, Tom Odell, Chrissie Hynde, and Suede have banded together with industry executives to declare a ‘climate emergency’
Figures from across the music industry have come together to form a new pressure group to demand drastic action to combat the climate emergency.
Called Music Declares Emergency, members of the new group include globally famous artists such as Radiohead, Suede, Chrissie Hynde, and Bonobo, alongside executives at organisations such as Abbey Road, Warner Music, Sony Music, and Domino.
In a statement published today on the group’s website, they collectively declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and call for government action to reduce biodiversity loss and reach net zero emissions by 2030 – a full 20 years earlier than the UK’s official 2050 target.
“We call on governments and media institutions to tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency,” the statement says. “We recognise that the emergency has arisen from global injustices and will work towards systemic change to protect life on Earth.”
The statement also acknowledges “the environmental impact of music industry practices” and commits signatories to “work towards making our businesses ecologically sustainable and regenerative.”
“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,” said Fay Milton, drummer with Savages and member of the Music Declares Emergency working group. “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.”
The group’s statement is part of a growing wave of climate emergency declarations from business groups, local authorities, governments, and other bodies.
This more than 7,000 universities and colleges from Strathmore in Kenya to Tongji in China joined together to declare a climate emergency at a major UN Summit, while business groups representing architects, engineers, and the communications industry have all declared climate emergencies in recent weeks.
Critics of the approach have warned that climate emergencies remain poorly defined and will have little impact unless they are followed by tangible and effective decarbonisation policies. Others have noted that delivering a net zero emission economy by 2030 is virtually impossible given the scale of change that is required to decarbonise sectors such as transport and industry.
However, advocates of the tactic argue that in the wake of this year’s School Strikes and Extinction Rebellion protests the declaring of climate emergencies has pushed the topic up the list of priorities for businesses, investors, and politicians, intensifying pressure on them to deliver more ambitious policies.