Demonstrators at COP26 dress as Pikachu, demand an end to coal in Japan

Too cute to ignore.

Zi Shan Kow | November 12, 2021, 05:04 PM

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Five protestors dressed as the Pokémon character Pikachu joined protests on Nov. 4 in Glasgow, Scotland, where the UN climate conference is currently held.

On the same day, the city also saw several demonstrations as part of the global environmental movement, Extinction Rebellion, which resulted in five arrests, reported the Independent.

No more coal

The Pikachus, who were part of the No Coal Japan Coalition, rallied outside the event venue for COP26.

Each of them held a placard with the Japanese flag that read: "Japan Stop Powering Coal".

Ayumi Fukakusa, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth Japan, told Bloomberg that the protestors showed up to demand the Japanese government to stop financing new coal-fired power stations abroad.

The demonstrators were also pushing for the government to phase out coal by 2030 to meet the emission goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2ºC, or if possible, 1.5ºC.

Fukakusa said that while Japanese governments, banks, and companies have pledged their climate goals, they are still expanding their coal energy use.

Coal in Japan

Japan is the third largest importer of coal. Coal, the dirtiest form of fossil fuel, is more polluting than any other energy source.

Reuters reported that Japan refused to join a pact to phase out coal power last week, as officials cited a need "to preserve all its options for power generation".

While the Japan ministry had previously promised to accelerate the closure of coal-fired plants by 2030, energy companies are resisting and delaying the transition because coal is "cheaper", said a senior executive at a major Japanese generator.

Top image via Getty Images.