”We need to raise our voice for having a life on earth and giving a better life for future generations”
Eine unserer Jaggies hat einer der größten südkoreanischen Tageszeitungen ein Interview gegeben. Darin ging es um Klima Aktivismus von Jugendlichen und warum dieser wichtig ist.
Hankook Ilbo: Since when did you become interested in environmental issues and what are the reasons?
Protecting the earth has always been important in our family. At the age of 10, I first realized how necessary it really was to take action for the environment. So I joined Greenpeace Kids. As the Fridays for Future movement came up, I started being a lot more active, with FFF and Greenpeace Youth.
Hankook Ilbo: How did people around you react when you said you’d become a part of an environmental movement?
At first, when I joined Greenpeace Kids, for the kids my age it was like any other hobby because they didn’t really understand it. Now, the people my age either think it’s really cool and important or they are not interested at all and think it’s weird. One part of the adults react with being tired of us or smiling about us (“yeah, yeah, you’re not getting the whole thing, just wait until you’re grown-up”) whereas others understand and support us.
Hankook Ilbo: Why do you think environmental activism of teenagers is important?
We need to show the adults that they are deciding about our future today and they are not deciding for our future. At the moment, they’re destroying it. Actually, this should not be necessary. We should not be worried about our future and definitely notfight for it. But as the generations before us have failed to protect the earth and the climate, we need to raise our voice for having a life on earth and giving a better life for future generations, which I think every teenager should be interested in.
Hankook Ilbo: There are several youth-powered civic groups calling for climate action in S. Korea. Compared to Europe and the U.S., though, the influence of these groups is insignificant, and the response they have received only praises from the older generation, using terms like “proud” or “commendable.” What do you think?
Even if it happens less here we also get praise like this from the older generations in Europe. It’s not enough to say that they’re proud of us because we don’t need them to be proud of us. What we demand from them to take action, for example in politics. They must protect the environment because this is the only earth we have and there’s no other way of saving it. We need to raise our voice for having a life on earth and giving a betterlife for future generations
Hankook Ilbo: Many people are concerned about the climate crisis in general but are not viewing it as their own issue or undertaking. In other words, they don’t feel that “my house (the Earth) is burning.” How do we convince them?
This summer in Germany for example we had a terrible flood disaster. I hope this opened at least some people the eyes. People in Germany (and S. Korea, too, I guess) usually think climate change hasn’t yet arrived here. But it is here. Disasters like the one last summer are consequences of the climate crisis and are going to happen more often in the future everywhere on the planet.
Hankook Ilbo: What is the ultimate goal you want to achieve through environmental activism?
My goal is having a good life on earth and making life also worthwhile to future generations. At the moment this means reaching the 1.5° C goal, so we won’t make climate change unstoppable. At the moment, that’s possible, we are still able to reach the goal. It’s important to fight for each tenth of degree because it makes a big difference in the future.