Massive Attack (pictured) and The Smile are to headline experimental live shows this summer as part of a new ACT 1.5 sustainability project.

The initiative has been designed to build on the foundations of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research roadmap for the live music industry to make emissions reductions compatible with the 1.5 degree temperature change limit specified in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Six ACT 1.5 shows are to be staged this summer, with Backlash Productions handling the production for shows by Massive Attack while Bullocks Touring will oversee concerts by The Smile.

Other key partners in the projects include Ecotricity, Zenobe, Plus Zero, Trainhugger, Volta Trucks, Orion, the Rail Delivery Group, ATC management and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

ACT 1.5 has been set up by Mark Donne, who was the project lead on the Massive Attack-commissioned research by The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change into the environmental impact of touring, and freelance live event producer John O’Sullivan.

Donne said the aim of the experimental ACT 1.5 shows is to produce prototype models of how live music can go much further, much faster, in playing its role to counter climate change. He said the purpose of the initiative was to approach the challenges from a production perspective so that sustainability strategies can be “baked” into planning. All findings will be open source and the focus will be on scalable and achievable measures for everything from fledgling acts to global superstars.

In a statement the duo said too little action is being taken to reduce Scope 2 emissions, and virtually no action whatsoever in the range of emissions that contribute heaviest to major live music events – audience transportation – in the Scope 3 section: “Without addressing and tackling these emissions, the live music sector cannot produce Paris 1.5 compatible plans.”

Massive Attack’s Rob Del Naja, otherwise known as 3D, said, “The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report made the emergency plain: it’s “now or never”. The report noted that across all sectors, investment in the shift to a low-carbon world is about six times lower than it needs to be – that estimation is reflected in the live music industry. After commissioning the Tyndall Report it was always our intention as a band to continue our own practical actions – working with the ACT programme means we can take those actions much further.”

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research professor Carly MacLachlan said the research centre was very pleased with how its Super-Low Carbon Live Music roadmap has been received since it was published in September last year but what’s critical now is delivery: “The need for urgent emissions reductions across all sectors and the pathways to decarbonisation are clear. Live music has a special role to play here as it can both demonstrate how transformation can happen quickly and talk to really varied audiences about the need and potential for change. In this light, we’re delighted to be contributing to the ACT 1.5 experiments.”

O’Sullivan said, “Working with two artists with the integrity of leading their own emissions reductions experiments over more than 15 years means we can really start to push the boundaries of what can be achieved. Fusing in new industrial zero-carbon partners, we can make an incisive contribution to that work, and finally get the emissions curve moving in the right direction.”

At COP26, Massive Attack were the first music act globally to be awarded UNFCCC “Race to Zero” accreditation – meaning their touring companies and touring plan is Paris 1.5 degrees compatible.