Takes the Mic: Tim Hollo, Green Music Australia

Thursday, 10 Dec 2015

“Musicians have always had an important role in shining a light on uncomfortable truths,” says APRA AMCOS Chair Jenny Morris OAM.

“Passive acceptance of inaction on climate change is simply no longer acceptable,” adds APRA AMCOS Chief Executive, Brett Cottle AM.

The UN Climate Change Conference wrapped up this week and Australian musicians are urging the music industry to, in the words of Rob Hirst, “turn the tide from greed to green.”

APRA AMCOS, administering millions of dollars in members’ funds, sent a strong message to the banking world by last month joining the global ‘divestment movement’ and beginning the process of shifting holdings to financial institutions committed to fossil-free investments. Tim Hollo of Green Music Australia said APRA AMCOS’ commitment is in tune with the membership it represents. Missy Higgins, John Butler, Adalita, Nigel Westlake and Ash Grunwald and organisations such the Australian Guild of Screen Composers have committed to divestment themselves, or divested already, and have applauded APRA AMCOS’ movement of funds to financial institutions that refuse to profit from fossil-fuel investments. 

Nigel Westlake, composer and recently re-elected APRA Board Member said the move “highlights the urgency for a swift transition to renewable energy sources if we are to avoid a two-degree increase in global warming.”

Missy Higgins added, "It's insane, in this day and age, that banks are still using our money to accelerate climate change. I've written to my bank and taken steps to divest, I know many other musicians have too, and it's brilliant to see APRA AMCOS now leading the charge."

Rob Hirst said, "Big hugs and heartfelt slap on the back to APRA AMCOS for joining the Amplify Divestment campaign.”

Tim Hollo said, “Musicians have been at the barricades of every major social change battle in history. Look at the peace movement, the civil rights movement, apartheid. Now it’s time to use our voices again, this time to protect our environment.”

“Our industry uses a lot of energy, a lot of transport and generates piles and piles of waste.  By doing our bit as musicians, we spread the word even further because we bring our audiences with us.”

As well as the divestment campaign, Green Music Australia is: 

  • working to phase out the use of disposable plastic water bottles at music events, and;
  • helping venues and studios to reduce their energy usage by making finance for upgrades more accessible and cheaper.

Other ideas in the Green Music pipeline:

  • establishing cycle valet services for festivals;
  • replacing CD casings with recycled cardboard casings, and;
  • producing only organic and fair trade music merchandise.

“Many institutions around the world (universities, superannuation funds) are actively divesting their fossil fuel shares and starting to bank only with institutions that don’t profiteer from coal – they see it as dirty money. In the words of Bill McKibben ‘If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage,’” Tim said.

“APRA AMCOS’ leadership is incredibly inspiring. It’s fantastic to see not just so many musicians coming on board with this campaign, but also the hugely positive reception artists are finding from their fans when they talk about what they’re doing.”

Amplify Divestment, a partnership between Green Music AustraliaMarket Forces and 350.org, is mobilising musicians, as culturally influential people, to take part in the movement. If you want to take part in the campaign, or any of the other campaigns Green Music Australia is running, you can get in touch here or on their website

Tags: aprap
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