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Nile Rodgers and Neil Tennant lead call for sustainability in the arts

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Nile Rodgers and Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant are among the stars who have called on Britain’s arts industry to go green after the Covid-19 crisis passes.

Rodgers, Tennant, Mark Rylance, and Brian Eno are among more than 450 cultural organisations and individuals, including musicians, who have signed a letter calling on the U.K. government’s Cultural Renewal Task Force to prioritise green measures as artistic institutions begin to bounce back following the coronavirus lockdown.

Their letter to U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden reads: “What we decide now will create the sustainable foundations for the future; we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a resilient recovery plan that is fair and tackles the climate and ecological crisis with urgency. We cannot let this opportunity pass us by.

“Before the pandemic the creative and cultural sector was contributing £111.7 billion ($137 billion) to the UK economy – greater than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences, oil and gas industries combined – employing over two million people and growing at five times the rate of the economy as a whole.

“The sector is of national and international significance but not just to the economy; aside from soft power and tourism, we generate civic and community cohesion and well-being. Our track record in climate action is also of international significance.”

The letter, organised by Julie’s Bicycle, a charity promoting environmentalism in the creative arts, also goes on to call for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to promote “a fair, just and green recovery” in the creative arts – one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic due to the cancellation of gigs and festivals, the closure of cinemas and theatres, and the shuttering of other cultural institutions.

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