‘In politics there are so many issues, sometimes boring. On tackling such a big-scale issue like climate change, it’s got to be fun, it’s got to be cool. It’s got to be sexy too.’


Shinjiro Koizumi

With the United Nations kicking off a conference that will include attention on the climate crisis, Japan’s 38-year-old environment minister pledged on Sunday to push his coal-dependent country toward a lower-carbon future.

Shinjiro Koizumi, who is the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, became the third-youngest lawmaker to join a post-World War II Japanese cabinet when current head Shinzo Abe reshuffled key appointments this month. Japanese polls show voters think the young Koizumi could be groomed to replace Abe, Reuters reported.

“We are committed to realizing a decarbonized society, and we are ready to contribute as a more powerful country in the fight against climate change,” Koizumi said, according to the Reuters report.

Japan is the only G-7 country that is adding coal-fired power capacity.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had told leaders they should only turn up to the summit if they came prepared with ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions under the Paris accord, which enters a implementation phase next year.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who pulled the nation out of the Paris treaty in part because he says compliance is not universal, made a brief appearance at Monday’s climate session.

Younger activists are the latest, or at least most-visual, leaders in the climate movement, taking cues from Sweden’s 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, to turn out for what is believed to have been the largest global climate demonstration to date last Friday.

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2019-09-23