K-Pop girl group and internet sensation, BLACKPINK, have issued a statement about climate change calling for governments to realise we’re in a climate emergency and take genuine climate action.
In the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference in the UK in November 2021, BLACKPINK partnered with the United Nations and British Embassy in Seoul with a video message on how climate change affects us all. Like us, BLACKPINK admits “we’re not experts but we do care about our planet and we want to learn more.” As Jennie put it, “Every year, we’re seeing more extreme weather—things like heat waves, droughts and flooding.”
“I was born in 1997,” Lisa shared. “At that time, 46 percent of the earth was made up of natural habitats. But now, only 35% remains and more are disappearing every day.”
“These places and the animals and plants that live in them are important for life on this planet,” added Rosé. “They help control our climate, provide food, water and even the air that we breathe.”
“But it’s not too late,” reminded Jennie. “We can still make it better.”
The four member group, who recently released a documentary film on Netflix, then explained that “in November 2021, the United Kingdom will hold the UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, where world leaders will come together to take the action to protect our environment.”
“This is a global challenge,” said Jennie. “Each and every one of us could make a difference and we need to act now.”
“This is our planet,” added Lisa. “This is our future. Climate change affects us all.”
From there, Rosé reminded us all that “we still have so much more to learn about what’s happening, what needs to happen, and how we can play our part.” But, speaking on behalf of the rest of her bandmates, Jisoo added, “we hope that you’ll join us on this journey.”
What is COP26?
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, organised by the UK and Italy, will be held at Glasgow from the 1st of November to the 12th of November. The event will see the 154 members of the United Nations—Australia included—who signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international environmental treaty addressing climate change.
Since the treaty was first agreed on in 1994, its members have gathered for COP, which per the BBC, stands for a Conference of the Parties. The 2021 meeting will be the 26th meeting—Aka COP26.
The last conference, COP25, was held in Madrid in November last year. You might remember it as where Greta Thunberg gave her iconic speech to the United Nations. “Our leaders are not behaving as if we are in an emergency,” she said at the time. “Without pressure from the people, our leaders can basically get away with not doing anything.”
WHY ARE BLACKPINK CALLING FOR CLIMATE ACTION?
It really isn’t that surprising that BLACKPINK has made a message calling for climate action. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 2020, it’s the impact of our idols in making decisions, and the power of K-Pop stans in calling for change.
Back in June, Variety reported that BTS, another beloved chart-topping group from Korea, donated $1m USD to the Black Lives Matter movement. In response, their fans, known as ARMY, matched the boy band’s pledge, passing $817,000 in the first 24 hours.
“We stand in solidarity with Black ARMY,” One In An Army, the fan collective behind the donation drive, said in a press release, according to the BBC. “They’re an important part of our family. And we stand with Black people everywhere. Your voices deserve to be heard.”
Elsewhere, K-Pop stans from all fandoms rallied together to tank a Donald Trump rally and took over the hashtag #whitelivesmatter with fan-cams. And, in recent years, the United Nations has recognised the K-Pop industry’s power, inviting K-Pop and pop music icons to signal boost important messages about equality and anti-discrimination.
In 2018, BTS attended the United Nations to pledge their support for the launch of Generation Unlimited, a global partnership to help every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030. Then, in September this year, the group returned for a virtual appearance at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly with a heartfelt message to young people struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And really, BLACKPINK, being the second biggest Korean export right now, is no different. Their social media platform boasts a strong 32.6m followers, they are a K-Pop group made up of people from beyond South Korea, and their opinions are listened to and respected by millions around the world. Now, if only Prime Minister Scott Morrison were a Blink and took some direct climate action.