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Climate change fight should be 'sexy' and 'fun', Japan's new environment minister says

(The Independent, 22 Sep 2019) Japan has taken little action on climate change, and its continued use of coal and promotion of coal use in other nations has been widely condemned.

Japan's new environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, pledged on Sunday to mobilise young people to push his coal-dependent country towards a low-carbon future by making the fight against climate change "sexy" and "fun."

Koizumi was speaking on the eve of a United Nations climate summit in New York where activists plan to float a blimp showing prime minister Shinzo Abe emerging from a bucket of coal to protest Japan's pans to build new coal-fired power plants.

"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," Koizumi told a news conference in New York.

"We are committed to realising a decarbonised society, and we are ready to contribute as a more powerful country in the fight against climate change," he said.

Japanese students in Tokyo were among the millions of young people who took to the streets on Friday to express the fear and outrage they feel over the failure of governments to control greenhouse gas emissions, which hit a record high last year.

Considered a rising star on Japan's political scene, Koizumi, 38, became the third youngest lawmaker to join a post-World War Two Japanese cabinet when Abe announced a reshuffle this month.

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The Independent, 22 Sep 2019: Climate change fight should be 'sexy' and 'fun', Japan's new environment minister says