U2 defend environmental impact of world tour

The Edge says they're tackling their carbon footprint as UK dates kick off

U2 have defended the cost of their 360° world tour following recent protests.

The band, who opened their UK tour at London’s Wembley Stadium last night (August 14) in front of 88,000 people, were recently criticised by former Talking Heads singer David Byrne, who wrote on his blog their world tour costs were “excessive”, considering their stance on world hunger.

The Dublin four-piece also faced protests during three dates in Croke Park last month from residents who were angry up to 100 trucks were driving through the narrow lanes around the venue.

Guitarist The Edge said: “I think anybody that’s touring is going to have a carbon footprint.

“I think it’s probably unfair to single out rock ‘n’ roll. There’s many other things that are in the same category but as it happens we have a programme to offset whatever carbon footprint we have.”

He also defended the disruption of their tour in Ireland.

“I think that’s probably about as realistic as you can be right now,” The Edge told BBC 6 Music.

He added: “We’d love to have some alternative to big trucks bringing the stuff around but there just isn’t one.”

The band played a two-hour show at Wembley, supported by Elbow and The Hours, which was watched by Noel Gallagher, Coldplay, Brian Eno and Lars Ulrich.

U2 sandwiched a host of tracks from their recent album ‘No Line On The Horizon’ with hits from their back catalogue.

Bono also briefly paid tribute to late Clash frontman Joe Strummer by dropping a snatch of ‘Rock The Casbah’ into ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’.

U2 played:

‘No Line On The Horizon’
‘Get On Your Boots’
‘Beautiful Day’
‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’
‘Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of’
‘Unknown Caller’
‘The Unforgettable Fire’
‘City Of Blinding Lights’
‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (remix)’
‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’
‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’
‘Walk On’
‘Where The Streets Have No Name’
‘Mysterious Ways’
‘Ultra Violet (Light My Way)’
‘With Or Without You’
‘Moment Of Surrender’

U2‘s 360° Tour continues tonight (August 15) with a second night at Wembley Stadium.

Check back on NME.COM for a full report.