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Coldplay to use Oxford Offsetting Principles for unavoidable tour emissions

Oct 19, 2021

Global British band Coldplay have pledged to drawdown any unavoidable emissions of their upcoming tour according to the Oxford Principles for Net-Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting.

Coldplay said: “We pledge to make our upcoming Music Of The Spheres Tour as sustainable and low-carbon as possible, guided by three key principles: Reduce, Reinvent, Restore.”

On CO2 emissions, the band’s website states: “Using our previous stadium tour as a baseline, we have set ourselves a science-led target of 50% reduction in our CO2 emissions using the ‘absolute contraction’ method. 

“We pledge to drawdown any unavoidable emissions according to the Oxford Principles for Net-Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting.”

As part of their climate strategies, many companies, organisations, cities, regions and financial institutions are relying on voluntary carbon offsetting. Carbon offsets are purchased credits representing a certified unit of emission reduction or carbon removal carried out by another actor.

The Oxford Offsetting Principles were put together by a group of leading academics at the University of Oxford, including members of the Oxford Net Zero team, to outline how offsetting needs to be approached to ensure it helps achieve a net zero society.

The Oxford Offsetting Principles are:

  1. Cut emissions, use high quality offsets, and regularly revise offsetting strategy as best practice evolves
  2. Shift to carbon removal offsetting
  3. Shift to long-lived storage
  4. Support the development of net zero aligned offsetting.

Kaya Axelsson, Policy Engagement Fellow at Oxford Net Zero, said:

“We wrote the offsetting principles because there is a real gap in good governance to ensure that offsetting strategies actually help get us to net zero. We wish there was a ‘higher power’ out there regulating this but in the absence of that we thought a few principles from scientists could help point conscious emitters in the right direction.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that seriously committed bands and institutions like Coldplay are making use of these and doing the hard work of figuring out how to operationalise them. It means they are probably spending more more time and money working on ensuring that their concerts are credibly climate neutral because it’s actually quite difficult to find offsets that meet our principles, and the first principle is that you need to reduce your emissions first.

“We are also just really thrilled by this exposure because, as it happens, we are big fans of their work too. I remember listening to Coldplay on repeat while doing my homework when I was 13 and first learned about climate change. It feels really surreal and exciting to be an author on a paper that they cite to try to make the world a more sustainable place. Thanks Coldplay!”

Read the full report, The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting.

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