Coldplay accused of “greenwashing” after a partnership with a controversial oil group

Chris Martin’s group has teamed up with the firm Neste to reduce the carbon footprint of its world tour. This company is strongly criticized in particular for the role it would play in deforestation.

On May 5, Coldplay unveiled a new awareness campaign to its audience in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of its world tour. But since this announcement, the rock band has faced strong reactions that it had not anticipated.

And for good reason, to carry out this campaign, Coldplay has partnered with the Finnish oil group neste. This company, which describes itself as the world’s largest producer of sustainable biofuels, is strongly criticized by environmental specialists, in particular, as some reports point the finger at, for the role it plays in deforestation.

“The firm’s palm oil suppliers cleared at least 10,000 hectares of forest in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia between 2019 and 2020,” reports a study published by the NGO Friends of the Earth.

“Useful Greenwashing Idiots”

Carlos Calvo Ambel, a senior director of the European Federation for Transport and the Environment, a European group that brings together several NGOs, has also described the group as “useful idiots of greewashing”, in an interview for The Guardian.

“Neste is cynically using Coldplay to green its reputation. This company is tied to the kind of deforestation that would appall Chris Martin and his fans. It’s not too late, they should drop their partnership with Neste now and focus on truly clean solutions. instead,” he said.

Since this mobilization, Coldplay has reacted in the press. Group members explain in the columns of The Guardian “having done their best to make the tour as sustainable and low carbon impact as possible”. “But we do not claim to have everything settled for the moment”, they specify.

“Before appointing Neste as a supplier of these biofuels, we received the guarantee that it did not use virgin materials in its production, and especially no palm oil”, assures the group.

“For our collaboration with Coldplay, conventional palm oil was not used as a raw material”, also assured Hanna Leijala, spokesperson for Neste.

As a continuation of this ecological campaign, Coldplay has announced that a tree will be planted for each ticket sold for their “Music of the spheres” tour, which will pass through the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday July 16 and Sunday July 17, 2022.