In conversation with Kpop4Planet on Kpop and climate change
Flic26, one of the world’s largest climate change conferences is taking place in Glasgow. Thousands of politicians, businessmen and activists come together to find solutions to one of the biggest problems the world faces: climate change. However, during the conference there was much criticism that the countries of the South as well as the grassroots activists were being sidelined.
Many organizations and activists around the world are doing the work while politicians and business leaders continue to speak. One of these platforms is Kpop4Planet which was launched in March 2021. The Daily Vox team spoke with the platform’s organizer, Nurul Sarifah.
Sarifah is an EXO-L, fan of the EXO group. She is the organizer of the platform, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. “Kpop4Planet is a platform we created for those who love K-pop music (or other aspects of Korean culture) and also want to fight together for climate justice,” she said.
Sarifah said they hope to harness the activism at the heart of the culture of many K-pop fans to “get governments and businesses to take action and be more ambitious in tackling the climate crisis.” The K-pop industry is a multi-billion dollar industry based in South Korea. However, the K-pop groups that make up the industry have millions of fans across the globe. These fans have immense purchasing power in terms of album sales and merchandise.
Fans of many K-pop groups are also known to be quite socially aware. During the global #BlackLivesMatter 2020 movement, fans of the BTS group, ARMY raised almost $ 1 million for the movement. Closer to home, in 2018, South African EXO-Ls planted 40 trees on behalf of EXO.
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Sarifah said many of these social movements are only known to fans. With the platform, she and the others involved wanted to increase the range of these movements. “This is why we launched this platform in the hope that it will help other people see it from a different perspective and break the stereotype of K-Pop fans,” she said. .
As COP26 draws near, one of the biggest K-pop girl groups, BLACKPINK released a video encouraging fans to take action for the climate.
For Sarifah, the climate crisis is very important. “Our generation is the one facing the climate crisis and solidarity across all borders is very important because this kind of collective action is desperately needed for the climate crisis,” she said. She believes that if millions of fans around the world “unite for the planet, we will be the strongest voice in the climate community.”
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Kpop4Planet isn’t just about fans coming together to raise their voices. It is also about appealing to the entertainment industry to which their favorite groups are part. One of their campaigns is called “No K-POP on a dead planet”. He calls for action from entertainment company K-POP on the climate crisis. The platform has gathered several recommendations for entertainment companies. These range from minimizing their use and consumption of plastic in the production of goods to using low-carbon options for concerts and tours. “Artists can also be a powerful tool in amplifying the message of climate emergency using their music,” Sarifah said.
As of November 2, more than 12,000 fans have signed up for the platform’s campaigns. One of their petitions calls for an end to the construction of a coal-fired power station near the beach where BTS’s Billboard No. 1 album cover hit “Butter” was shot. The other request Tokopedia, a large Indonesian e-commerce company, to embrace renewable energy by 2030.
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“By announcing their climate action, we believe companies will create a big impact to encourage fans and idols to join climate action for positive change towards a sustainable K-POP industry,” she said.
While no entertainment company has joined the team yet, several fandoms have joined. These include Carat, EXO-L, ARMY, STAY, Fantasy, Moa, BLINK, My Day, ELF, NCTzen, Monbebe, Shawol, Melody, and others.
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Sarifah said if the threat of the pandemic wears off in some areas, the climate crisis is looming as the next global disaster. The platform will focus on raising awareness in the K-Pop community. “With the strength of global fans, we finally want to campaign to call on government, business and ourselves as global citizens to take more advanced action, not just talking about the entertainment industry.” , she said.
Ultimately, they want to demand more sustainable practices from the K-Pop industry so that “we can enjoy our favorites longer on a healthier, greener planet.”
Featured Image Provided By Kpop4Planet