Brussels, 29th October 2021,

Ahead of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) starting on October 31st in Glasgow, IMPALA calls on the EU and national governments to ensure clear transitional pathways for all European countries, along with a support mechanism for sectors who are leading the way in this area.

Effective transitional mechanisms are an essential evolution of European Climate Law and indispensable for a just and equitable climate transition. Starting points vary from country to country in Europe and it is important to ensure level playing field access to clean energy and other tools. This is needed for all actors to participate in climate transition, irrespective of size or where they are based.

IMPALA has voluntary climate goals and targets, aiming for a climate-positive sector by 2030, with an interim target of climate neutrality by 2026. The success of this programme will depend not only on the sector, but also on governments’ efforts in facilitating sustainable transition on a level playing field basis.

The role of music and culture as a catalyst for broader change is also vital. Music Declares Emergency, Julie’s Bicycle’s pre-COP recommendations and Spotify’s multi-pronged climate initiative all underline how the sector can strengthen the creative climate movement.

IMPALA counts on decision makers stepping up at COP26 to take meaningful and swift action.

Horst Weidenmüller, CEO of !K7 Music, Chair of IMPALA’s Sustainability Task Force, commented: “Sustainability is a key area for any company, big or small, in Germany and elsewhere. We are doing our bit in the independent music sector, and we expect governments to step up and make transition pathways as smooth as possible.”

Will Hutton, Head of Sustainability at Beggars Group and member of IMPALA’s Sustainability Task Force, added: “Sector action is indispensable if we are to achieve our targets and we hope that by moving early, we will encourage other sectors to follow. As we look to governments to take a strong stance at COP26, it is essential to create systems to support early sector transition.”

Peter Quicke, Chair of Ninja Tune and member of IMPALA’s Sustainability Task Force commented: “Being able to reach a wide audience, music has the power to carry vital messages on the climate urgency. I will be in Glasgow to support ambitious action, clear targets and systemic support. That’s what’s needed to obtain tangible results for the future.”

Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA concluded: “COP 26 is a key opportunity for governments to show leadership and solidarity. Every country and company is different, and no one should get left behind. We also support Julie’s Bicycle recent recommendations to governments on maximising the role of culture to achieve change at scale.”

With more than 5,000 members in over 30 countries, IMPALA’s sustainability programme, including charter
guidance for members and carbon calculator tool is a good example of sector-led transition. It is crucial that governments provide their support for programmes to promote change in key sectors at scale and inspire further individual and collective action across Europe.

Initiatives like Music Declares Emergency use the power of music to raise awareness on climate emergency and how it affects all sectors, music included. You can get involved in their pre-COP action hereIMPALA awarded MDE with our Outstanding contribution award in 2019, when we also signed their climate emergency declaration. The movement has also spread in other countries like FranceGermany, the US as well as others in the pipeline, proving the importance of a coordinated approach worldwide.

Global digital services like Spotify have also recently reported on how they reduce their emissions, including full transparency on how they offset all subscriber streams, as well as their actions to help spread awareness generally on the need for change. IMPALA welcomes this leadership.

IMPALA supports the UN’s sustainable development goals, known as SDGs. We are a partner to the Guide to Music and the SDGs covering each of the 17 Global Goals, published by the Center for Music Ecosystems. The guide offers examples and guidance, as well as suggesting a new framework building on the role music can play in achieving sustainable development goals.

“Culture: The Missing Link to Climate Action” by Julie’s Bicycle is a call for decision makers to recognise the value of culture in driving climate action. It shows how cultural policy can strengthen the creative climate movement, and mobilise action at scale. 

IMPALA was established in 2000 and now represents over 5000 independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are small, micro and medium businesses and self-releasing artists. Known as the independents, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs. IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector sustainably, return more value to artists, promote diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access, inspire change, and increase access to finance.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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