Climate protests in South Korea: on the edge of Insubordination, but gently

In East Asia played the Fridays-for-Future-movement, as yet no significant role. In South Korea, that is changing. South Korean climate activists want their g

In East Asia played the Fridays-for-Future-movement, as yet no significant role. In South Korea, that is changing.

South Korean climate activists want their government to sue photo: Chung Taekyong

BEIJING taz | For the 16-year-old climate activist, Kim Do-hyeon, it was no less than a knighthood, Together with your organization "Youth 4 Climate" had reached the South Korea, so a lot of media attention, that you are the Minister of the environment invited shortly before the climate conference in Madrid personally to a Meeting. There, the students brought forth their concerns, the country should stop investing in fossil fuels, and from coal to renewable.

The audience ended in a bitter disappointment: The Minister for the environment and his staff have admitted openly that they would exceed, with the current government measures in the Paris climate agreement agreed global warming. The Status quo is the best thing to do currently. "For me, this was very disappointing," says Kim Do-hyeon, "you know the facts, but do not act yet".

finally On Friday, they drew the logical consequence is: 29 South Korean climate activists in the school age have filed a complaint with the constitutional court. They argue that their fundamental right to live in a clean environment, am hurt by the lack of "climate change act" of the government. South Korea plans to reduce its nationwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 536 million tonnes, which would represent a decline of approximately 25 percent. In order to keep global warming below two degrees, this is according to Youth 4 Climate significantly too little.

With the lawsuit, you are not alone, From Australia to Colombia to the United States, young people have already sued their governments, due to inaction on climate change. In East Asia, where the Fridays for Future movement, as yet, hardly any travel that has included such "Insubordination", however, is of special significance.

"a Lot of peers say to me that I'm doing really great, but you don't want to act," says student Kim. No wonder: no OECD-country students are in such competition with each other, in the upper school many buffaloes every day about ten o'clock at night. In addition, it was not intended in the strictly Confucian society, the young people of the authorities in question and claims on the government, says Kim Do-hyeon. To tails, perhaps the most rebellious Offense of all: The school is an absolute in the education hungry South Korea is taboo.

As Kim Do-hyun, the first free daily air strike took part, she had to first submit to your class teacher for a certificate. "The word strike, I absolutely want to avoid, because it keeps in Korea, a certain Stigma attached to the leg. I have declared the event as a climate campaign – and my teacher has let me go at the end“.

When the 16-year-old high school student from Suwon, a city on the outskirts of the Metropolitan area of Seoul, then it acts a little like the East Asian counter-thesis to Greta Thunberg: courteous, polite, thoughtful word choice, far from Wutreden. However, the content of the two allies in spirit.

in South Korea, there is much to complain about: last spring, the government had to submit emergency legislation to get the massive load of fine dust in the grip, the country is in no other OECD-so high. In addition, South Korea with a population of 50 million in the nine thöchsten coal consumption worldwide, which is not increased further.

For the older Generation, the topic of environmental protection has remained negligible, for the Maxim of economic growth, drastic sacrifices have been accepted. Finally, the Peninsula was after the Korean war in the ruins: a desperately poor agricultural nation, it has worked, within a Generation, the largest economy in the world up.

"I've always had the feeling that the climate depends on change, about my future," says the student. Your awakening experience in the summer of 2018, the should as so far the hottest in the history of the country. "The heat was so oppressive, that all of our sport lessons were cancelled," she recalls.

in Addition, they have met through their volunteer work for under-privileged senior citizens, an older woman, the home did not even have a fan. "For me, it was really shocking," says the South Korea. You have can be realized that higher temperatures for some people is life-threatening.

their constitutional complaint, adds Kim Do-hyeon, was not only a symbolic act: "Our lawyers who helped us, certify us a good chance of winning". Not least of all the students based solely on evidence that comes directly from government agencies.

Date Of Update: 10 May 2022, 16:03