Coldplay, ClientEarth and children's media: Pop culture giants strive to boost environmental engagement

Several big names in music, including Coldplay and Alt-J, have launched new playlists designed to spark environmental action, in the same week that new children's climate engagement schemes were launched by broadcasters and authors.

Image: ClientEarth

Image: ClientEarth

The music initiative, called Playlists for Earth, was launched last week as part of an initiative spearheaded by NGO and eco-law firm ClientEarth. It currently includes six playlists, curated by big-name artists in a bid to get listeners to think about environmental issues and the need to accelerate action to tackle challenges.

One of the playlists was created by Coldplay. The band says it sends a “not-so-subtle” message around climate action and conservation, featuring tracks entitled ‘What the World Needs Now’, ‘Recycle’ and ‘Plant Trees’. Coldplay notably cancelled tours in 2019 stating that they were only looking to play carbon-neutral shows in the future.

ClientEarth believes the Playlists for Earth initiative will reach millions of fans, mainly through the artists’ extensively followed social media networks. It has dubbed the use of music a “novel” approach to breaking down big global issues and making them relatable to individual listeners ahead of COP26.

“We need to see a massive cultural change and an immediate government response,” singer-songwriter Anna Calvi, one of the playlist curators, said.

“That’s why I wanted to be a part of Playlists For Earth, to spark conversation and explore what’s happening in the world in a new way in the lead up to the UN climate conference. It’s so important that we use our position in the arts to say something, as art really has the power to turn people’s attention to issues.”

Children, climate change and pop culture

In related news, the BBC has forged a partnership with environmental charity Hubbub designed to engage Blue Peter viewers with environmental issues.

Under the partnership, Blue Peter will provide a ‘Green Badge’ version of its iconic ‘Blue Badge’ to young viewers that complete challenges. To obtain a ‘Green Badge’, viewers will need to demonstrate their commitment to energy efficiency, sustainable food or reducing plastic pollution over a period of at least 14 days. Recommended actions include turning off lights and devices at school, using a reusable water bottle and choosing vegan or vegetarian meal options.

The scheme is open to those aged six to 15 and participants will need their teacher or group leader to apply on their behalf. Participants are encouraged to act as classes rather than individuals. The incentive for kids to take part, beyond the Badges themselves and the opportunity to engage with classmates, is free entry to more than 200 UK attractions.

Separately, this month has also seen a coalition of well-known children’s authors making environmental pledges and encouraging their readers to follow suit, through bi-monthly magazine SCOOP. The April edition includes contributions from authors Lauren St John, Phillippa Forrester, Piers Torday and Abi Elphinstone.

Aside from the pledges, the magazine has an ocean theme. It promotes ocean conservation and restoration to young readers by showcasing children making a difference around the world; featuring fictional tales regarding marine habitats and creatures; explaining jargon and teaching children how to beach-comb and beach-clean.


Join the conversation at edie's ENGAGE 2021 online event 

Readers interested in sustainability communications won't want to miss edie's online ENGAGE event on Thursday 6 May. The event consists of three sessions designed to inspire and empower attendees to apply best practice to communications, reporting and engagement work. 

Expert speakers from the likes of Clear Channel, Toast Ale, Virgin Media, Reconomy and JRP Solutions have already been confirmed for the online event, with more speakers and partners to be announced over the coming days. The event runs from 1-4pm BST and ticket holders will be able to stream the recording on-demand after the sessions. 

Please note: You must pay to access this online event. Tickets purchased before Thursday 22 April will cost £39+VAT. Tickets purchased thereafter will cost £49+VAT

For full information and registration, click here. 


Sarah George

Sarah George



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