Messages for Student Summit

Yuriko Koike

Yuriko Koike Former Minister of the Environment

Her message to students of the world

I would like to extend my sincere respect to you for undertaking actions to help bring about a sustainable global community.

To resolve environmental issues, actions by individuals are critical. During my three-year tenure as Minister of the Environment, I worked to create policies which relay to the people of Japan causes to support while also calling for as much empathy for those causes as possible. In encouraging people to reconsider their current lifestyle, it is important that they understand why it is necessary for them to do so. At the same time, to inspire people to take action, it is necessary for them to feel that doing so can be fun and enjoyable. The reason that the Cool Biz campaign was embraced by so many people was that it integrated a cause for them to support—climate change mitigation—and feelings of affinity for that cause, namely the willingness to take off their neckties in the summer and work in a cooler and more comfortable style.

In the 21st century, human beings are facing serious environmental challenges, such as adaptation to climate change and securing water resources. I hope that members of the younger generation such as yourselves take action with both the wisdom to tackle those challenges and the sensitivity with which to widen their networks for action.