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Coldplay respond to being called ‘useful idiots’ over deal with oil company

The band are attempting to cut touring emissions in half.

By Sam Moore

Coldplay unveil details of world tour
Coldplay. Credit: James Marcus Haney

Coldplay have reacted to claims that they are “useful idiots” after announcing a partnership with oil company Neste.

On their current Music of the Spheres world tour, the band are attempting to minimise their carbon footprint.

Last week they announced a partnership with Finnish oil company Neste to attempt to cut their touring emissions in half.

While Neste claim to be the world’s biggest producer of sustainable biofuels they cleared almost 25,000 acres of forest in 2019 and 2020.

Environmental campaign groups called out the band for engaging in “greenwashing” with a director for the Transport and Environment group saying: “This is a company that is linked to the kind of deforestation that would appal 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.”

Coldplay have responded to the criticism in a statement: “When we announced this tour, we said that we would try our best to make it as sustainable and low carbon-impact as possible, but that it would be a work in progress. That remains true. We don’t claim to have got it all right yet.”

The band also discussed what Neste guaranteed them: “Before we appointed Neste as supplier of these biofuel products, we received their guarantee that they do not use any virgin materials in their production – most especially not palm oil. It’s still our understanding that they use renewable waste products only, like cooking oil and byproducts from wood pulp manufacture.”

Coldplay have also previously been criticised for working with car manufacturer BMW who are providing rechargeable batteries for their shows.

The band also addressed these criticisms in their statement, saying: “We have no connection to or influence on their corporate policies. We just need their batteries so that we can power our shows with renewable energy. We are doing our best, and always genuinely welcome suggestions as to how to do it better.”

Coldplay are currently on tour in North America and will be playing a number of dates in the UK this August.