Blackpink, Amanda Gorman kick off UN week with calls for climate action

American poet Amanda Gorman and South Korean pop band Blackpink called for climate action Monday as world leaders descend on New York City for the United Nations (UN) General Assembly this week.

Taking the General Assembly stage on Monday, Gorman read her latest poem, “An Ode We Owe,” urging action on poverty, world hunger, gender equality, and climate change. 

“We chime it, for the climate, for our communities. We shall respect and protect every part of this planet, Hand it to every heart on this earth, Until no one’s worth is rendered, by the race, gender, class, or identity, they were born. This morn let it be sworn, that we are one human kin, grounded not just by the griefs, we bear, but by the good we begin,” The 24-year-old poet recited in her address. 

Gorman, who gained famed as a featured poet at President Biden’s inauguration last year, added in her poem that it’s not too late to address the issue of climate change. 

“To anyone out there, I only ask that you care before it’s too late, that you live aware and awake, that you lead with love in hours of hate. I challenge you to heed this call, I dare you to shape our fate. Above all, I dare you to do good, so that the world might great,” Gorman said. 

Blackpink also appeared in a live video feed for the event, called “SDG Moment,” to urge world leaders to take action toward the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, and urge people to decrease their energy consumption and cut food waste.

“We must seize this moment and take actions to create a world that is more sustainable and leave no one behind,” said Blackpink member Jennie Kim, according to Reuters

Blackpink has shot to global fame in recent years on the success of hit songs such as “Ice Cream” and “Kiss and Make up.” 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres also called for more climate funding at Monday’s event. World leaders will start delivering speeches to the 193-member assembly starting on Tuesday.

“We have just witnessed a summer of climate devastation that goes far beyond mountainous areas,” Guterres said.

“With the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) taking place in November in Egypt, I call on all participants to advocate for more funding for climate adaptation, building sustainable and resilient food systems and supporting sustainable livelihoods with investments in jobs and social protection.”