Environment Minister Mum On Future Coal Policy

Environment minister mum on future coal policy

Japan's environment minister has addressed a key UN climate change conference in Spain. Shinjiro Koizumi once again acknowledged international criticism about the country's continuing reliance on coal. But he stopped short of announcing any policy changes.

Koizumi said, "I am aware of global criticism including on our coal-relating policies. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for stopping our addiction to coal. I took this as a message to Japan."

Koizumi didn't offer clues about how the country plans to deal with the issue.

The minister added that he is afraid he "cannot share new development on our coal policy today."

He went on to highlight the steps Japan has taken to deal with global warming, saying it has cut emissions for five straight years.

But some countries criticized Koizumi's speech.

A Spanish representative said, "This is very pretty disappointing that there is no newer commitment. I hope that other parties will do better at least."

A representative from Ethiopia said that it's time to take action on climate change now and not in the future.

Japan was given a satirical "Fossil of the Day" award by a network of environmental NGOs.

It's the second time the country has received the dubious honor at the COP climate change summits.