A group of activists dressed up as everyone’s favourite Pokémon, Pikachu have turned up at the UN’s climate change conference to protest Japan’s refusal to reduce coal consumption.
At the conference, Japanese officials refused to sign a pledge to reduce their coal consumption. As it stands, the country is the sixth largest consumer of coal in the world, accounting for over 18% of all usage.
The protest happened opposite Glasgow’s SEC, which is hosting the COP26 conference. The people in Pikachu costumes even got a police escort before holding up signs that said “Japan stop funding coal.”
They want the Japanese government to phase out domestic coal use by 2030 however it’s been reported that Japan plans to build an additional 10 coal-fired power stations.
See footage of the protest below:
Nothing to see here, just life sized Pikachu's being escorted by police to protest at the Cop26 climate conference pic.twitter.com/PBOGywCoR5
— Dexerto (@Dexerto) November 5, 2021
— Orla Dwyer (@orladwyer_) November 4, 2021
LOOK: People dressed as Pikachu protest on November 4, against the funding of coal by Japan, near the UN Climate Change Conference venue in Glasgow, Scotland. Photos by Russell Cheyne/Reuters#COP26 UPDATES: https://t.co/B9QpAIGnR4 pic.twitter.com/xOnJRxvh79
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) November 4, 2021
Taking place until November 12, the COP26 summit is aiming to bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Ahead of her performance and speech at the conference this weekend, AURORA has spoken to NME about how she believes that “we can either be the generation who fixes the damage of the generations before us, or the generation who truly doomed Mother Earth”.
Pikachu isn’t the only Pokémon to get involved in Japanese politics this year.
Japan appointed the water-type Eevee evolution Vaporeon as the official mascot for Water Day, a Japanese initiative run by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Vaporeon was initiated in a ceremony held by Japan’s Minister of the above department.
Another water-type Pokémon, Lapras, also signed up to promote dams and public transport in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture.
Last month, Pokémon Go hosted its first in-person event in the UK as the Safari Zone was held in Liverpool.
The event, which was originally scheduled to take place in March 2020, was postponed following the pandemic. It saw 20,000 players attend at Liverpool’s Sefton Park.