Ellie Goulding may be a successful pop star, but she’s not in the business for the glitz and glamour. Arriving in Dubai for the inaugural TIME100 Impact Awards and Gala, Goulding spent her evening backstage with her backup singers and crew, getting ready for her performance. Yet Goulding wasn’t just in the United Arab Emirates on Monday to share his music with the crowd of world leaders; she also accepted a TIME100 Impact Award herself, in recognition of her long-standing work to advance awareness of climate change.
Taking the stage at the star-studded evening at the Museum of the Future to share her acceptance, Goulding reiterated concerns shared around the world: “I am no different from anyone living on the planet right now. I suffer from anxiety and fear in the face of world events. The climate crisis is never far from my thoughts,” she said. “Right now Antarctica is 40 degrees Celsius warmer than it should be. The Arctic is 30 degrees Celsius warmer. This is the stuff of nightmares.
“There is still a small window of possibility, but we need to act now,” she said. “It is by acting that I keep hope.”
She also takes hope knowing there is a global community working to improve the world and slow climate change: “Millions of us are working for a different future. Our goal is a stable and abundant biosphere providing a healthy and peaceful human population. We can see it. We can feel it.
Goulding shared a stripped down performance of three of his hits to close out the TIME100 Impact Awards and Gala: “Power” and “Flux” from the 2020 album brightest blueand the platinum single “Love Me Like You Do”, backed only by three backing vocalists.
It was Goulding’s first live performance of 2022. Catching up with her backstage just before her performance, she admitted it was strange to return to the stage after her break; she became a mother in the meantime. But some things are worth the challenge.
She reiterated that finding climate solutions can often seem like a daunting task, although there is hope, in the form of the engagement of the next generation. Young people are already on, engaged, informed. They already know. I haven’t met a young fan who hasn’t worried about climate change. It is really the leaders – the powers that be – who need to be enlightened,” she said.
A dedicated Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme, Goulding recently spoke at last year’s COP26 climate conference, urging politicians and leaders to use their power to prioritize our environment. This struggle, she says, continues.
She recognizes her unique position as a star to an audience and decided to use it to spread the word while setting an example as an environmentally conscious touring musician. While she is currently working on an album, she is already preparing for future shows. Next: find a way to make his entire touring experience carbon neutral.
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