Super-Low Carbon Live Music: a roadmap for the UK live music sector to play its part in tackling the climate crisis

In this roadmap we outline a set of clearly defined and measurable targets that the live music sector could adopt to play a leading role in meeting the Paris Agreement on climate change. In our discussions and interviews with people from across the sector, we found widespread commitment to reassembling practices post Covid-19 so that they are fundamentally more sustainable. There are many excellent examples of super-low carbon practices already happening, however, progress must be rapidly accelerated and substantial shifts in industry practice are needed.

We outline targets for energy use in buildings and outdoor events, surface travel and air travel (for people and equipment) and audience travel. High level targets include: reducing emissions from buildings to zero by 2035; at least matching UK grid electricity emissions at outdoor shows from 2025 onwards; reducing surface travel emissions to zero by 2035 and limiting total sector aviation emissions to a maximum of 80% of 2019 levels. We also provide interim targets to demonstrate that immediate reductions must be made. We do not propose a ‘net zero’ date, rather we outline the progress needed to reduce emissions across different areas of activity. In those areas where low carbon options are currently not available (e.g. aviation) we propose a focus on reducing demand. If offsets are used to claim ‘net zero’ status then we recommend that these should be carbon removals with long term geological storage and that these should only be used where further reductions in emissions are not possible. In order to retain focus on the sustained need to reduce emissions beyond the date that any ‘net zero’ goal is reached, targets for emissions reduction should remain specifically articulated until emissions are fully eliminated (i.e. targets should go beyond a ‘net zero’ framing to drive action to fully eliminate emissions from the sector – aiming for zero rather than ‘net zero’).