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MU Action on the Climate Emergency

The MU’s new Climate Emergency Action Group have now met twice, and are looking inwardly and outwardly at ways the Union, the wider music industry and the Government can address the climate emergency.

Published: 16 November 2023 | 1:22 PM
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The MU’s new Climate Emergency Action Group have now met twice, and are looking inwardly and outwardly at ways the Union, the wider music industry and the Government can address the climate emergency.

The Union has a new Climate Emergency Action Group made up of members from across the UK who are passionate about moving our green agenda forward. Motions have been passed at recent MU Delegate Conferences calling for the Union to be more active in this space.

Motion 3 (Delegate Conference 2021)

Conference requests the EC to develop strategies for the music industry and contribute to strategies in the creative and leisure sector, to tackle both the immediate emergency and the generic long-term transformation to a carbon neutral existence and environmentally sustainable future

Motion 14 (Delegate Conference 2021)

In an effort to enable members to keep making music by avoiding a global climate and ecological catastrophe, we ask the EC to: specialist independent advice and works out a clear, binding, organization-wide environmental policy. specialist independent advice to review its internal practices and, where possible, mediates any adverse effectsof these on the environment. specialist independent advice to come up with ways to promote sustainability within the music sector. specialist independent advice that includes information about how to divest from fossil fuels.

Instigating action inwardly and outwardly

The MU Climate Emergency Action Group had two dynamic online meetings so far where they've discussed a whole range of issues from the Union's policy on ULEZ and clean air zones to the MU's own investments, energy use and buildings.

Members involved are determined that the Group will instigate action and not simply be a talking shop. To that end, their next meeting will focus on developing the Union's existing environmental policy. The MU has also carried out an audit at MU HQ, via a Mayor of London initiative, to look at ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

It is clear that the new Action Group could look inwardly at MU activities and also outwardly at music industry initiatives and the policies of political parties including Labour and the Green Party. Members of the group feel strongly that this latter point, lobbying the Government for change and influencing political parties, will have the biggest impact.

The onus shouldn't be on individuals to make change in their own lives necessarily, although every little certainly helps, but for the Government to legislate and plan for net zero.

Change is possible!

The Group is co-chaired by Balraj Samrai and Bridget Walsh

Balraj commented on the first two meetings of the Action Group, "I'm pleased to see this group come together and enthused by the commitment, suggestions and actions of the group so far in addressing the emergency".

And Bridget commented on her ambitions for moving the group forward, “to paraphrase a line from Talib Kweli in one of my favourite Anderson Paak tunes, ‘My job as an artist is to make the revolution irresistible’. Whenever I am asked about how my artistry and activism intersect, this what I always come back to. And it’s because of this core value that I am energised to be part of the MU action group to further the collective work that we can all be a part of to battle the climate emergency.

“I enthusiastically encourage people to engage and participate in this important work, or towards the actions in whatever way feels manageable and empowering. Start where you are, do what you can. Change is possible!”

Members wishing to consider changes they could make at home and at work are encouraged to look at the Ethical Consumer website in the first instance.

More advice for members coming soon.

Get involved

MU members who want to join the Group or who have ideas for change can reach current members via MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl

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