(c) Sky News 2021: Massive Attack star Robert Del Naja says Coldplay not touring won’t ‘change a thing’ for environment

The musician, also known as 3D, spoke about the issue to MPs as part of an inquiry looking into the future of UK festivals, a sector which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Massive Attack, best known for the singles Teardrop and Unfinished Sympathy, have been working with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to track and reduce emissions from live events.

At the digital, culture, media and sport committee session, Del Naja said he was “pretty livid” with the industry for making green pledges but not actually taking action to reduce its carbon footprint.

However, he said cancelling tours and festivals is not the answer, as culture is important.

Speaking about Coldplay, he said: “One band’s unilateral action is not going to change the look of the whole problem at all. One band not touring doesn’t change a thing.”

In November 2019, ahead of the release of their last album, Everyday Life, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin told the BBC: “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, how can we harness the resources that our tour creates and make it have a positive impact.”

Martin’s comments came before the COVID-19 pandemic, which would have prevented them from touring anyway.

Speaking about the solutions for reducing the carbon footprint of gigs and festivals, Del Naja told the committee: “Bands don’t need to cancel tours, and festivals don’t need to cancel festivals.

“There are lots of different solutions across transportation – you can charter trains and buses and even gets tents and luggage down to a festival in the right way, and bands can take a train themselves.

“There are lots of different solutions for energy and powering a festival.”

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The Massive Attack star said he understood Coldplay’s “frustration” as it is something “all bands have been feeling for a long time”.

He continued: “Everyone knows that’s not the solution – one band stopping touring, or even all bands stopping touring.

“Culture is important, it brings everyone together, and so the best way is to look for solutions collectively.”

Del Naja said it was an “embarrassment” that the “artist wears the climate T-shirt, waves the placard, while simultaneously operating in a high carbon, high-polluting sector”.

Artists have “become the messenger” but “the public has got the message” thanks to Sir David Attenborough documentaries, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, so “now is the time for action – no more pledges”, he said.

The lack of action from the industry means “all of us end up looking like hypocrites”, Del Naja added.

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