COP26: Activists dressed as Pikachu protest against Japan’s coal industry

·3-min read

Watch: Pikachus protest Japan's coal industry at COP26

Activists dressed as the Pokemon character Pikachu are protesting against Japan’s support of the coal industry near the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Demonstrators unveiled a banner with a message reading: “Japan. Time To End Coal.”

Japan ranks sixth in the world for coal consumption and accounts for around 18.5 per cent of world’s total consumption, according to figures analysed by Worldometer.

The country also snubbed a pledge announced at the summit today for major economies to phase out coal-based energy by the 2030s.

Today marks ‘Energy Day’ at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

COP26 President Alok Sharma has announced “the end of coal is in sight” as countries including Poland, Vietnam, Egypt, Chile and Morocco pledged to phase out coal power.

However concerns have been raised about the absence of major polluters in the move.

Another Extinction Rebellion protest is expected outside the Home Office building in Cessnock on Thursday, while there will be other large marches through the city on Friday and Saturday.

On Wednesday evening, Police Scotland said five arrests had been made at the demonstration, including two after officers were sprayed with paint.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: “We will provide a proportionate policing response to any protest and it is therefore extremely disappointing that officers were assaulted by having paint sprayed in their faces.

“These officers were simply doing their job and trying to protect people and keep them safe.”

Mr Ritchie said a group of protesters were “contained” around St Vincent Street in order to protect public safety, before being allowed to move towards the COP26 site within a police cordon.

Extinction Rebellion’s protest on Wednesday was against “greenwashing” and included demonstrations outside the SSE and JP Morgan offices.

The group said police action raised “serious questions about civil liberties, right to protest, and human dignity”.

Watch: Extinction Rebellion protesters rally against greenwashing outside JP Morgan building in Glasgow

Extinction Rebellion is due to hold a “march for peace” starting in Cessnock at midday on Thursday.

On Friday, thousands are expected to march through Glasgow with the Fridays for Future movement founded by Greta Thunberg.

Saturday will see another large march from the COP26 Coalition, with organisers saying tens of thousands are expected.

Initiatives being announced at COP26 on Thursday include a UK-led coal-to-clean power transition statement committing countries to ending all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally and rapidly scaling up deployment of clean power generation.

More than 40 countries have signed up to the statement, including 18 committing to phase out and/or not build or invest in new coal power for the first time.

Separately, 28 new members have signed up to the UK-led “powering past coal alliance”, to phase out the use of the most polluting fossil fuel.

But the world’s biggest polluter and coal user China, along with other major users and producers, the US, India and Australia, are not part of the efforts, prompting warnings the deal has “glaring gaps”.

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