“…Two, three, four” climate activist musicians

Tuesday, 16 April 20195 minute read

Pure Planet salutes the songwriters and artists who campaign against global warming

You can’t miss climate action this week. It’s everywhere. Extinction Rebellion is protesting in London and major cities around the world; Netflix is running Our Planet; and the BBC is going to air the latest Attenborough blockbuster on Thursday in the run up to ‘Climate Change — The Facts’.

And Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl climate activist, is gaining evermore public support for her school strikes as part of the Fridays For Future campaign.

We love the fact that climate action is gaining so much momentum.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the news about protests and marches. And of course, it’s important to keep in the loop with everything that’s happening. But we wanted to offer a fresh perspective, and look at climate action on a lighter note.

We listen to a lot of music here at Pure Planet, it’s playing constantly in our office. And inspired by this week’s climate actions we decided to celebrate with ‘Pure Planet’s Media Climate Action Week’ — a look at climate through music and other art forms.

We’ll be talking about some of the most engaging climate activists across the media, whether it be music, film or television.

We’re giving credit to some of the biggest advocates for renewables and sustainability in the music industry.

With the help of our fantastic Community members, we’ve come up with a few musicians and songs that are big favourites of ours. Do you agree?

Paul McCartney

This one isn’t too tough to justify.

There are countless reasons that we could give for loving the Beatles’ legend before we even get into the work he’s done to raise awareness for climate change. But we won’t; we’ll stick to his work on climate.

As well as being a committed vegetarian for over four decades, Paul frequently relays his concerns for the environment. He believes that we can all take individual action to address global warming. One of his suggestions is to move more towards a plant-based diet by going vegetarian for just one day a week.

McCartney was one of the many artists who had a role in the making of “Love Song to the Earth” — a ballad written to inspire climate action at the UN Climate Conference (he’s not the only name on this list to get involved with that, by the way). Have a listen here.

This isn’t the only time that McCartney has used climate change as a source of songwriting inspiration. Listen to “Despite Repeated Warnings”. If you weren’t aware of the risks that global warming presents, you will be after you hear this.

He’s clearly had a profound effect on his daughter Stella, too. The fashion guru is one of the leading names in her industry attempting to reform it towards a more circular economy in a bid to avoid global warming. She’s launched a United Nations fashion industry charter for climate action. Check it out here.

Sheryl Crow

The multi-talented American musician is passionate about fighting climate change. Like Paul, Sheryl was one of the many contributors to “Love Song to the Earth”.

Last year, Crow wrote a profound open letter to Congress, urging them to reconsider their approach to climate change. It wasn’t written through the frame of a hugely successful musician, but rather through that of a concerned mother simply caring for her children’s future.

She has also taken to social media, particularly using Twitter to voice her support for all those who do their part to fight global warming.

Crow has built up a big following online, and will have no doubt inspired thousands to reconsider their stance on climate change.

John Legend

Campaigns, charity performances, supporting local causes — you name it, John Legend has done it.

Legend launched his ‘Show Me Campaign’ in 2007, a cause that aims to “break the cycle of poverty”. Check out its Facebook and Twitter channels for more information.

He performed at Obama’s Green Inaugural Ball in 2009, which showcased the importance of renewables and sustainability.

Sustainability is just as important to Legend when he’s on the road, too. He embarked on an Eco-friendly summer tour in 2009. It was the first major ‘carbon-neutral’ music tour we are aware of. Find out more about it here.

He also harnesses his influence on social media to call for climate action.


There is far more to the former Police frontman’s repertoire than singing about messages in bottles.

Like Legend, Sting is the proud founder of an environmental cause: the Rainforest Foundation. It aims to support the indigenous communities of South American rainforests by protecting and conserving their homes.

The foundation encourages anyone to get involved. For $5 (£3.83) you can save an acre of rainforest.

Sting has also leveraged his songwriting talents, composing a piece encouraging climate action. In it, he calls out to British leaders, imploring them to take action. We shouldn’t be surprised, after all, it’s not the first time he’s sent an SOS to the world!

Our favourite lyric…

“Dear leaders, please do something quick,

Time is up, the planet’s sick”

Listen to the whole of “One Fine Day” here.

What are your thoughts?

Do you agree with our list? Who else would you like to see on it?

Share your thoughts. Join in the conversation in our Community.

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