From the Viewsroom

‘Massive Attack’ on global warming

Preeti Mehra | Updated on December 04, 2019

The British trip-hop band is helping gauge the carbon imprint of mega events

Last fortnight the much-celebrated British trip-hop band, Massive Attack, announced that it had commissioned a study to map the carbon emissions caused by the live music industry in the West. Working in tandem with the UK-based Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, the study, according to a press release from the group, will detail the carbon footprint of major artistes and present options that can be implemented to reduce the impact. The findings and recommendations will be made available to the larger music industry and musicians so that they can do their bit to fight global warming. In a November 29 op-ed article in The Guardian, Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack pointed out that for two decades the band had planted trees, prohibited the use of single-use plastic at concert venues and travelled by train whenever possible. However, he noted that the concept of earning carbon credits to offset “high-carbon activities” creates an illusion that wealthier individuals can continue to wreak havoc on the environment with impunity. In fact, to press his point Del Naja quotes the UN environment programme which has stated that offsetting cannot be used by polluters “as a free pass for inaction.”

While environment conscious entertainers in the West have been part of offset programmes for well over a decade, one has not heard of their counterparts in India doing anything similar. The carbon footprint left by major Bollywood performers who sing and dance to packed stadiums must be considerable. So too must be mega sporting events like One Day Internationals and IPL matches which are held at multiple venues across the country. Add to that the Big Fat Indian wedding. The wedding season (September to March) is notorious for its use of single-use plastic, bursting of crackers, wasting of food and the overall toll it takes on the environment.

Perhaps, the organisers of extravaganzas in our country should get a copy of the study being carried out by the Tyndall Centre to see how they could change their approach to conducting events to ensure that these are gentler on the environment. And, yes, our celebs ought to do much more than feature in promos that implore others to save the Earth.

Published on December 04, 2019

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