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Record Labels Make Pact to Become Carbon Neutral by 2050

Pitchfork logo Pitchfork 12/14/2021 Jazz Monroe
Crowd Photographing Firework Display During Event In City - stock photo  Photo taken in Paris, France © Photo by Yu Sheng Lim / EyeEm via Getty Images Crowd Photographing Firework Display During Event In City - stock photo Photo taken in Paris, France

Major labels Sony, Universal, and Warner have signed a pact to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, joining a host of independent labels setting the same or more urgent targets. After last week’s pledge by the Secretly label group to be “climate positive” by 2026, the major labels joined with indies including Beggars Group, Warp, and Ninja Tune to sign the Music Climate Pact, which addresses activities such as touring, vinyl manufacturing, and music streaming, which are unsustainably carbon-intensive at current levels.

In addition to the emissions reductions, the signatories promise to measure carbon emissions across the industry, to encourage artists to discuss the climate crisis, and to work with streaming companies to track and reduce subsidiary emissions relating to music listening and fandom. The pact, inspired by the climate summit COP26 and developed with the UN Environment Programme, works in tandem with Science Based Targets and the SME Climate Commitment; each signatory company will be bound by one or the other scheme.

Earlier this year, Beggars Group and Ninja Tune made similar pledges, with the latter aiming for carbon neutrality by the end of 2021. In September, Massive Attack concluded a climate study with a proposal for “an urgent and significant reassembly” of the industry.

Read “How to Be a Responsible Music Fan in the Age of Streaming” on the Pitch.

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