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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 18 - 24  > Environment Minister under fire for his comment on Greta
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2019 December 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Environment Minister under fire for his comment on Greta

December 24, 2019
Environment Minister Koizumi Shinjiro on December 20 at a press conference made a critical remark about 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and immediately came under fire.

Asked by the press about ways to increase awareness among the youth of climate issues in Japan, Koizumi said that he hopes that young people in Japan will seek to involve all generations in efforts to tackle climate change rather than just condemning adults, evidently having Thunberg in mind.

Citing the fact that Thunberg used sailing boats instead of jets to travel across the Atlantic with the aim of minimizing her travel carbon footprint, Koizumi asserted that it is impossible for Japanese to exclude commercial jet airplanes from the transportation option. However, Thunberg has clearly stated that she does not mean to urge others to follow suit.

Climate activists across the world are responding to Thunberg’s call for “climate justice” and are organizing various activities, including holding rallies with millions of people taking part. Greta does not mince her words when condemning government officials and business leaders in order to make the point that their lack of commitment to reduce carbon emissions will lead to devastating consequences.

At the ministerial meeting at the COP 25 climate conference held earlier this month in Spain, Koizumi said that as a soon-to-be first-time father, he has a duty to secure “the future of my child and all children”. What Koizumi should also do is to listen sincerely to the opinions of Thunberg and other young activists.

Past related articles:
> JCP Koike: Japan in COP25 works against global effort to harness climate change [December 17, 2019]
> More than 5,000 young people in Japan join ‘Global Climate March’ [September 21, 2019]
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