Korean pop giants BlackPink have been chosen to promote this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The announcement comes off the back of the group’s appearance in a 2020 COP26 promo video to publicise the conference taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. The video received more than 10 million views by “Blinks”, the name for BlackPink fans.
The most-followed girl group on Spotify, BlackPink also received a handwritten letter from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He thanked them for their work in spreading the climate change message. “Your recent video ‘Climate Action in Your Area #COP26’ was a huge success, being viewed over 10 million times across social media platforms,” he wrote. “Climate change is the most important issue of our time. It is fantastic that you have chosen this moment to lend your voices to this critical issue.”
BlackPink debuted in August 2016 with number-one entries on South Korean and Billboard digital charts. Since then, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa have broken numerous records. Their music videos for “Kill This Love” (2019) and “How You Like That” (2020) set records for the most-viewed music video within the first 24 hours of release. On Youtube, they are the first act to have three music videos each accumulate one billion views; they are the most-subscribed music group, female act, and Asian act. Other accolades include three People’s Choice Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, and five Guinness World Records.
Their presence comes after COP26 came under fire late last year for failing to have enough women in leadership roles for the conference. “It is incomprehensible that half the planet is not represented in the senior leadership team,” read a letter signed by more than 400 climate leaders.
Whilst admitting they are not experts on climate change, the music stars are keen to learn more. “We’re losing more of the natural world every day and time is running out. We just really felt like we need to say something,” said lead singer Jennie in the COP26 video.
“The documentary that Sir David Attenborough presented, ‘A Life On Our Planet’ has helped us a lot and various other platforms have helped to actually learn more about what we could actually do to sustain our beautiful planet,” Rosé added. “I think we’ve all still got so much more to learn but if it feels good that we can be able to participate in such an important cause.” In addition, they are determined to use their huge digital reach to make change happen. “We hope our fans will join us on this journey,” said Jisoo.
Delayed for a year by the pandemic, COP26 will bring together world leaders to accelerate action towards the goals of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year’s convention is critical because countries must set out more ambitious targets to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement stipulations.
All Paris signatories had agreed to keep temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In addition, they had committed to pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, there is considerable concern that these targets will not be met. Equally significant, a 2018 United Nations report stated that low-income countries are hardest hit by climate-related disasters yet their environmental impact is much lower than that of developed nations. As a result, the COP26 agenda will also focus on how to redress this balance and redistribute funds to assist poorer countries.
Find out more about COP26 here.