K-pop Fans' Activism Leads Hyundai to End Coal-Powered Aluminum Deal

Kpop4Planet, a group of K-pop fans, launched a petition urging Hyundai to end its agreement with Adaro Energy Indonesia over coal-powered aluminum. Hyundai ended the agreement in March 2023, citing the expiry of the Memorandum of Understanding.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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K-pop Fans' Activism Leads Hyundai to End Coal-Powered Aluminum Deal

K-pop Fans' Activism Leads Hyundai to End Coal-Powered Aluminum Deal

In a remarkable display of the power of online activism, a group of dedicated K-pop fans has successfully pressured South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. to end its agreement with Adaro Energy Indonesia to purchase low-carbon aluminum powered by coal. The group, known as Kpop4Planet, was founded in 2021 by Nurul Sarifah and Dayeon Lee, two passionate K-pop fans who recognized the potential of harnessing the massive online community to advocate for climate and environmental causes.

Why this matters: This victory demonstrates the growing influence of online activism in driving corporate accountability and environmental responsibility, highlighting the potential for social media movements to shape business decisions and policy changes. As climate change continues to be a pressing global issue, the success of Kpop4Planet's campaign serves as a model for other online communities to mobilize and push for sustainable practices.

Kpop4Planet launched a petition in March 2023, urging Hyundai to withdraw from the project until it phases out coal and discloses details of the energy used to make the aluminum. The petition garnered over 10,000 signatures in just two months, demonstrating the immense influence and reach of the K-pop fan community. Nurul Sarifah, co-founder of Kpop4Planet, explained their motivation: "I spotted how K-pop fans can be seen as a potential power. We think we can harness that power for climate change action." The success of the petition led Hyundai Motor Co. to end its agreement with Adaro Energy Indonesia in March 2023, citing the expiry of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the end of 2023.

This victory is a testament to the growing influence of K-pop fans in driving positive change and raising awareness about pressing environmental issues. Dayeon Lee, co-founder of Kpop4Planet, emphasized their goals: "We want to show the power and influence that the K-pop fans can have... we believe that if we gather all together, we can make better social impacts and maybe change our society in more sustainable ways."

Kpop4Planet's activism extends beyond the Hyundai-Adaro Energy Indonesia agreement. The group has partnered with climate organizations in South Korea, such as Korea Beyond Coal, to raise awareness about plans for a coal-burning power plant near Maengbang Beach, a popular destination for K-pop fans. They have also urged entertainment companies to reduce waste related to K-pop fan culture, particularly the collection of photo cards, which generates a significant amount of waste.

The impact of Kpop4Planet's successful campaign against Hyundai's coal-powered aluminum deal cannot be overstated. Nurul Sarifah celebrated the victory, stating, "This is a victory of thousands of people, friends who took actions and also show that they genuinely care about the climate crisis and local communities." As K-pop continues to gain global popularity, the influence of its dedicated fan base in advocating for environmental and social causes is likely to grow, potentially leading to more significant changes in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Kpop4Planet, a fan group, pressured Hyundai to end its coal-powered aluminum deal.
  • The group's petition garnered 10,000+ signatures in 2 months, demonstrating K-pop fans' influence.
  • Hyundai ended its agreement with Adaro Energy Indonesia, citing the MOU's expiry.
  • Kpop4Planet aims to harness K-pop fans' power for climate action and sustainable practices.
  • The group's success sets a model for online communities to drive corporate accountability and environmental responsibility.