Citizens start action to cut greenhouse gases

With the effectuation on February 16 of the Kyoto Protocol obliging developed countries to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, citizens in Kyoto and Tokyo held symposiums, rallies, and parades to express their determination to start reducing gas emissions.

In Kyoto City where the protocol was adopted in 1997, a league of religious organizations in six neighboring prefectures held a meeting entitled "Religious people wish for peace on earth and global warming to be prevented."

In a published statement, the conference stated that taking concrete steps is the only path to reviving the earth. It also stressed: "It is not time to argue or to speak of going to war."

About 550 religious people, who gathered irrespective of differences in sects, marched through the ancient city after the meeting.

In Tokyo, an organization comprising researchers and people from government administrations, business corporations, and citizens organizations held a commemorative symposium on climatic crisis. A climate researcher reported on last year's extraordinarily high temperatures and frequent typhoons. He called for immediate action, saying, "The crisis is here now, not one hundred years in the future."

A director of a society for the study of organic agriculture stated that agriculture in the past decade was damaged by high temperatures, water shortages, and gas emissions.

About 100 young people concerned with environmental questions visited the Diet to express their determination to do the little thing they can such as carrying shopping bags and not using disposable plastic bags. (end)

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