Music Industry Declares Climate Emergency, How Downloading vs. Streaming Music Affects Your Carbon Footprint, Belize’s Maya Forest Project, Managing Forest Fires in Belize

by | May 9, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Music industry declares climate emergency, plus how downloading vs. streaming music affects your carbon footprint. Belize’s Maya Forest Project, and managing forest fires in Belize.



The Maya Forest Corridor, an area of forest in central Belize, has faced deforestation rates almost four times the national average. But on April 22, an eleven-year dream of conservation groups to protect that area was realized. The majority of the deforestation in that area is because of clearing land for industrial-scale agriculture. The forest corridor is both an irreplaceable and a backbone of conservation efforts for the largest remaining tropical forests in the Americas. 

Hannah St. Luce-Martinez, director of Belize’s National Biodiversity Office explains, “The Belize Maya Forest project allows us to fulfill further our goals of reducing pressures on biodiversity, improving mitigation and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.” Partners who made the Belize Maya Forest conservation project include:

  • Bobolink Foundation
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
  • Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative
  • International Tropical Conservation Fund
  • Gallon Jug Estate
  • Global Wildlife Conservation (and many more)
  • Mass Audubon
  • Programme for Belize
  • Symphasis Foundation
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Rainforest Trust
  • University of Belize Environmental Research Institute
  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • World Land Trust
  • Wyss Foundation

Why does The Belize Maya Forest Project matter to us? Natural climate solutions like conservation, restoration and improved land management actions that increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in landscapes and wetlands across the globe are the best way for humans to get out of the way and let Nature to heal itself.

DEEPER DIVE: The Nature Conservancy, The Guardian, WCS News



Belize is facing an increase in fire frequency during the dry season. The culprit? Rising temperatures, which are a key indicator of climate change. And with record wildfires worldwide in 2020 and 2021, nearly 2 billion tonnes of CO2 were emitted globally. That’s equivalent to more than double Germany’s annual CO2 emissions. Or the equivalent of removing over 418M cars from the road annually.

So, In March 2022, The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved almost $800K for a project that would increase Belize’s ability to manage forest fires in a way that reduces carbon emissions. This funding comes after about eight years of working towards implementation of Belize’s National Climate Change Policy Strategy and Action Plan to Address Climate Change.

The project  title is a mouthful: “Traditional Savanna Fire Management Readiness Proposal to facilitate Emissions Reductions in the Agriculture, Forestry and other land use sectors in Belize.”

Why does Belize’s fire management project matter to us? According to the Washington Forest Protection Association, “Scientific research shows that actively managing forests can actually help restore ecosystem health and improve habitat quality by using tools such as thinning treatments.”

A multi-stakeholder group consisting of the Ministry of Economic Development (MoED), the Green Climate Fund, Climate Finance Unit, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management and the International Savanna Fire Management Initiative Pty. Ltd. (ISFMI) will implement the project.

DEEPER DIVE: Breaking Belize News, GCF, WFPA



Back in July 2019, musician Fay Milton, drummer for the UK band Savages wanted to do something about the deep concern she felt for the climate and ecological emergency the world is facing. Milton and others recognized that the music industry faced unique challenges to being green and needed its own group to drive the conversation around climate change in the industry.

So, she decided to co-found Music Declares Emergency (MDE), an environmental pressure group made up of musicians and music industry professionals. MDE joined the voices around the world to acknowledge and declare that the world is in a climate emergency. MDE outlines the way three groups—artists, industry professionals, music lovers—can take action. Each group can participate in specifically tailored campaigns.

For example, an industry label can participate in a campaign called Run From The Jewel, which is a campaign to get the industry to end the use of CD Jewel cases since they are made from polystyrene which is essentially a forever material. Another campaign is called the Pension Campaign, which seeks to divert pension funds away from fossil fuel companies.

Music industry companies participating with MDE include Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Radiohead, and Abbey Road Studios, to name a few.

Why does MDE matter to us? Cultural climate change competency in the world of music is one of those places where we can all benefit. If the music industry’s impact on the planet can be reduced, it becomes yet another source of good for the earth and inspiration for us all.

DEEPER DIVE: Music Declares Emergency, Northern Transmissions, Rolling Stone



Speaking of music’s impact on the climate, Rolling Stone magazine recently published an analysis of the difference between CO2 emissions from streaming vs. downloading a song. According to the article, “ If all songs were downloaded instead of streamed, there would be an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions after the first listen.” That’s huge, but how does it work?

When it comes to downloading or streaming one song, the amount of energy used is more or less the same. But after that, the difference between the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted increases. The main reason for the difference is that streaming the song activates the servers running the cloud, which is where the songs live. A 2020 Spotify Sustainability report explains that, “the second largest source of emissions is the user phase,” meaning you, the listener, “making up 42 % of our emissions.”

We’ve got an example to help explain: If all 265 million streams of the song “Bang!” by the band AJR were streamed on Spotify, the song would generate at least 3 ⅓ tons of greenhouse gas. According to the Rolling Stone article, “This is the same as driving a car from New York to L.A. three times over.” But, if all the plays of the song were downloaded instead of streamed, “Bang!” would have generated less than ⅔ of a ton.

Now that’s a climate and a support-your-favorite-band solution! So, download people!

DEEPER DIVE: Rolling Stone, hits96, Loudwire