|Art by fans of BLACKPINK and members of Kpop4Planet send the message that the Earth under the threat of climate change must be saved together by fans and their idols. Courtesy of Climate Media Hub|
By Ko Dong-hwan
Global K-pop fans who united to combat climate change earlier this year launched a new campaign calling on Korea's major entertainment companies to become more active in the green movement.
Kpop4Planet said Friday they will launch "No K-Pop on a Dead Planet" the following day, 100 days before the start of the U.N. Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, England, on Oct. 31 this year.
The campaign targeted SM, JYP, YG and Hybe. Hybe, formerly named Big Hit Entertainment, manages BTS that has been dominating Billboard's Hot 100 chart for weeks with hits like "Butter" and "Permission to Dance." YG represents BLACKPINK which was selected last February as advocates for COP26. The four agencies have produced many K-pop acts and solo artists that earned global fame and established each of their own fandoms.
The campaign said that the agencies wield bigger influence on the global K-pop trend than artists, fans and governments, which is why the agencies must be part of the movement. According to a survey by Kpop4Planet, "entertainment companies" topped the list of who must first change to make K-pop culture more eco-friendly, with 95.6 percent. In this survey that allowed respondents to make multiple choices, entertainment companies were followed by "fans" (59.4) "governments" (46.5) and "artists" (39.5).
Nurul Sarifah, a K-pop fan in Indonesia who co-founded Kpop4Planet, said she wants to make changes by bringing together global K-pop fans, idols and entertainment companies that are willing to fight climate change. Sarifah added that she and her friends don't want to be "the last generation to enjoy K-pop."
Kpop4Planet, which attracts those interested via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, said that entertainment companies can join the movement by minimizing the use of plastics when making artists' albums or goods, and planning concerts in ways that produce the lowest possible carbon emissions.
British rock band Coldplay set a precedent for this kind of movement in 2019, when its frontman Chris Martin told BBC that they would delay their concert tour following the release of their album "Everyday Life" to "work out how our tour can not only be sustainable but how it can also be actively beneficial…and have a positive impact."
"K-pop fans are already doing their jobs," said Lee Da-yeon, a member of Kpop4Planet. "They plant trees or crowdfund for victims of natural disasters under the names of their favorite idols."
|Clockwise from left, Jazz, Carla and Xian Guevarra, who are fans of BLACKPINK and Stray Kids, and members of Kpop4Planet / Courtesy of Climate Media Hub|
"I have learned that for K-pop culture to be environmentally sustainable with the help of over 500 fandoms worldwide, we badly need entertainment companies' participation and support, because they control the directions of artists' music and contents. If the companies and idols support the fans' united environmental movement that has already been proven great, the influence together from all of them would be truly amazing."
Kpop4Planet's latest announcement has garnered support from musicians and fans worldwide. One of the supporters is Fay Milton, a member of British rock band Savages who co-founded in 2019 "Music Declares Emergency," a global movement to fight climate change so far joined by some 1,300 entities from the global music industry, 2,900 artists and 1,400 fans.
"Music and culture have the power to inspire and change politics and it is time for that change," Milton said. "K-pop fandoms are some of the widest and strongest music communities on Earth and their power shouldn't be underestimated!"
Jazz, a BLACKPINK fan in the Philippines and a member of the band's fandom Blink, said, "K-pop is a powerful force for social change. When it comes to numbers, they dominate social media nowadays…I hope BLACKPINK's mission does not stop at COP26 but goes beyond it. If YG takes more advanced climate action, BLINKs, including myself, will fully support it."
Lavi, an Indonesian member of BTS fandom ARMY, said that the group "taught me various things. One of them is that teamwork makes dreams become reality."
"BTS has shown how music can have a huge impact on how people perceive their surroundings. I hope that one day BTS will make a special song about nature that invites humans to work together to save Planet Earth."
Carla, a member of Stray Kids' fandom STAY Portugal and Blink, said: "K-pop companies do have the power to help save the planet by becoming more sustainable. Change and join us. We're running out of time. One day there will be no more resources for you to produce even one more album. Change!!"
Xian Guevarra, a member of STAY and Youth Advocates for Climate Action, joined the voices, mentioning "Together we can have #SustainableKPOP."