“We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point,” Martin told the BBC. “How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”
Coldplay joins other popular artists including Jack Johnson, Pearl Jam and Adele who are seeking to lessen the impact of their travel as scientists warn that climate change is a growing global emergency. Performers’ travel, venues, lighting and merchandise all have environmental costs. U.K.-based bands released about 85,000 tons of greenhouse gas in 2009, according to the most recent data from Julie’s Bicycle, a London-based organization that supports environmental sustainability in the arts community.
Coldplay is scheduled to perform two concerts in Amman, Jordan, in the early morning and midafternoon on Friday to mirror the two sides of their 52-minute album “Sunrise” and “Sunset.” Those concerts will be streamed on YouTube.
The band also plans to play a show on Monday at London’s Natural History Museum that it says will be their only performance of “Everyday Life” in Britain. Proceeds will go to London-based environmental law nonprofit ClientEarth.
Coldplay has toured seven times since 2000, including their most recent tour, “A Head Full of Dreams,” which featured 114 shows across five continents in 2016 and 2017. Production for those shows included 109 crew members, 32 truck drivers and nine bus drivers, according to TPi Magazine.
“Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that environmentally,” Martin told the BBC. “We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon-neutral.”
The carbon emissions released while flying between show locations is the hardest part of making a tour environmentally sustainable, Martin told the BBC, but he said the band hopes to make its shows largely solar-powered and avoid single-use plastics.
Performers’ attempts to go green have included using biodiesel-fueled tour buses, drinking from water flasks instead of disposable plastic cups, transporting their gear by ships instead of by air and encouraging fans to take public transportation to concerts, according to Rolling Stone.
“When the band started to become successful, I’d leave a concert venue and see the amount of garbage left behind, and I realized that we had to do something or we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on,” Dave Matthews, of the Dave Matthews Band, told Variety. “I can’t in good conscience tell anyone the planet is in peril and that they should do something about it — unless I’m doing everything I think is possible.”