The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Jeoung Ae) will hold the 13th Climate Change Week from the 22nd to the 28th of April, 2021 to celebrate the 51st Earth Day on April the 22nd, 2021*.
* Earth Day was born at an event led by Senator Gaylord Nelson and a college student, Denis Hayes, on 22 April 1970 to commemorate an oil spill, which occurred in California in the year before that. In Korea, the event had been originally led by private environment activist groups since 1995. Then, the government officially designated Climate Change Week since 2009.
This year, Climate Change Week kicks off under the theme of "Restore Our Earth: Me first, right now! Practice 2050 Carbon Neutrality," meaning that each individual should first act right now in order to turn our society carbon neutral.
Climate Change Week is filled with a variety of events and campaigns, which aims to promote the beginning of practicing carbon neutrality and encourage people to actively engage in climate action this year.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening ceremony will be held on a smaller scale than usual, consisting of in-person and virtual meetings at ASEM Ballroom of COEX, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul at 2 PM on 22 April, 2021.
The ceremony will be attended by Ms. Han Jeoung Ae, Minister of Environment, Mr. Choi Byeong-Am, Minister of Korea Forest Service, and Ms. Lee Eun-hee, Standing Representative of Korea Climate & Environment Network. Furthermore, two students, Ms. Koo Bo-yeon, and Mr. Chung Young-ho and Mr. Paul Kim, a singer, will join the ceremony as representatives of the youth supporter club for carbon neutrality and the Climate Action Honorary Ambassador, respectively.
On the sidelines, the ceremonies to declare climate action practice and to appoint the youth supporter club for carbon neutrality, as well as Honorary Ambassadors for climate action, will be held with public agencies, civil societies, and companies.
The declaration ceremony will feature a performance, called "5+1 Carbon Neutrality Practice," showing a strong will to promote carbon neutrality as well as climate action in daily life*, which people can easily practice in the following five areas: energy; production and consumption; shipping and transportation; resource circulation; and sinks.
* More specifically, the climate action in the five areas include i) "energy transition" starting from saving electricity; ii) "low-carbon industrialization" starting from buying low-carbon products; iii) "future mobility" starting from public transportation and electric and hydro vehicles; iv) a "circular economy" starting from upcycling and recycling; and v) "carbon-offsetting forest" starting from planting trees.
The appointment ceremony for the youth supporter club* for carbon neutrality was prepared so that young supporters can take the lead in climate action and encourage social consensus as well as public participation in a way forward to a carbon-neutral society.
* More than 200 members were already recruited since the announcement in last March.
Mr. Paul Kim, a singer who was appointed as Climate Action Honorary Ambassador, will promote carbon neutrality policies by donating talents, such as portrait rights or voice, and proactively engage in climate action campaigns. He has shown a great interest in responding to climate change by donating to the Climate Crisis Emergency Action, and practicing low-carbon green life by himself.
Also, the Ministry of Environment will launch various activities to celebrate Climate Change Week through broadcasting and online public campaigns.
First, the program, "15 Minutes to Change the World," will stream a "Special Lecture for the Climate Change Week" on Youtube from 21 to 28 April 2021 where Minister Han and celebrities*, including Mr. Tyler Rasch, are invited to describe climate crisis, a global trend of carbon neutrality, and the importance of climate action.
* Minister Han Jeoung Ae, Mr. Tyler Rasch, a television personality, and Syukaworld, an economic content creator are included.
For the future generations, "Zepeto," a mobile application, Naver Z created by using a metaverse program*, will start providing five carbon-neutral items for its users to decorate their 3D avatar for free on 20 April and launch a video booth challenge where users prove their climate action practice.
* The word, "metaverse," is a compound word of "meta," meaning transcendence, and "universe," meaning a space. "Metaverse" refers to a virtual space where people meet one another and have social, economic, and cultural interaction through their avatars.
Along with that, a promotion video where avatars of Zepeto introduce five climate actions will be released on 22 April 2021.
※ If you search "Zepeto" at the app store on your mobile phone, you can download it. And, the climate action promotion video will be released on the social networking account of the Ministry of Environment.
Also, an online campaign for the Climate Change Week to resolve five climate actions, such as saving electricity, buying low-carbon products, and planting trees, will be held on the website dedicated to carbon neutrality: www.gihoo.or.kr/netzero.
In addition, a nationwide event of turning off lights altogether for 10 minutes in buildings will be held from 8 PM on 22 April 2021 to remind people of the value of the Earth.
This lights-out event will be joined by 2773 public buildings, including the government complex in Sejong and the headquarters of the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), 2,497 apartment complexes, and 177 other places, including business buildings and local landmarks, such as Namdaemun in Seoul and Gwangan Bridge in Busan.
And, more events are prepared by local communities and civic groups across the country.
A variety of ceremonies for "Earth Day," including a declaration ceremony to practice carbon neutrality and a kick-off event for civil groups, in Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Jeju.
And, local communities will widely promote carbon neutrality by using their community bicycles of more than 7,400 attached with a sticker that reads, "Me first, right now! Practice 2050 Carbon Neutrality."
Civic groups will also launch various education and promotion events, such as a bike commuting challenge and education programs for future generations, to encourage a climate-friendly lifestyle.
* Ecomom Korea, "Kick-Off Ceremony for Global Eco-Leaders 2021" on 24 April 2021; Institute for Climate Change Action, "Post-it: Hello to Us in 2050" from 19 April to 5 June 2021; Daegu Climate & Environment Network, a carbon neutrality challenge from 16 April to 5 June 2021; and 9 civil groups, based in Incheon, environmental activities for Earth Day from 16 to 22 April 2021
Minister Han said, "For us, transition to a carbon-neutral society by 2050 is not an option but a must in order to address climate crisis right in front of us. I hope this Climate Change Week gives an opportunity to all Koreans so that we first can go carbon neutral to recover the Earth right now."
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