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Green touring: Coldplay criticised while ABBA tap Wallenius


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Coldplay are taking a bit of a kicking in the media this week over the band’s attempts to cut their touring emissions. The controversial aspect is a partnership with Finnish oil company Neste to provide ‘sustainable biofuels’ to help cut Coldplay’s aviation impact.

Why controversial? Because Neste have also been criticised for the deforestation involved in its business producing palm oil.

Coldplay has issued a statement stressing that that palm oil isn’t being used in their biofuel, but campaigners have still suggested that working with Neste means Coldplay are being used to greenwash the company’s reputation.

The ensuing pile-on will be (bio)fuelled by plenty of people who don’t like Coldplay and/or don’t like artists speaking out about the climate emergency. But there are some constructive lessons to be learned too: this piece by climate journalist Eleanor Salter is one example.

What’s important is continuing to explore all kinds of ways of making music concerts more sustainable. Another example came yesterday.

ABBA’s upcoming ‘ABBA Voyage’ avatar concerts has made Swedish shipping firm Wallenius and its Oceanbird wind-powered vessels concept an official partner. Wallenius will be the logistics provider for ABBA Voyage, and consult on sustainability issues.


Written by: Stuart Dredge