In June 2021, Kiko Network’s Kimiko Hirata was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, often called “the Nobel Prize for the Environment.” She is the third Japanese person to win the prize, and the first Japanese woman.
She was awarded the prize in recognition of her activities with Kiko Network as a non-governmental organization (NGO) working from the perspective of climate change in response to the Japanese Government and businesses’ vigorous push to build coal-fired power plants after the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the Great East Japan Earthquake, leading to the cancellation of about one-third of the planned coal power projects.
Opposition to coal-fired power has grown enormously in the past few years. In addition to Kiko Network, this award is the result of the combined efforts of the staff of a number of environmental organizations, local organizations and citizens, as well as lawyers and experts from Japan and abroad, who have all been working to stop the construction of coal-fired power plants, and many who have been involved with Japan Beyond Coal.
In response to receiving the award, Ms. Hirata stressed the need to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired power, saying “in order to realize a coal phase-out and decarbonized society, big, ambitious actions are necessary, and our efforts from this point on will be even more important. It is my hope that this award will provide an opportunity for many people to take further action.”
Goldman Environmental Prize home page
Kimiko Hirata prize recipient page
Press Release (Goldman Environmental Foundation): Goldman Environmental Prize Honors Six Environmental Heroes
Kimiko Hirata’s speech and message videos of the “Goldman Environmental Prize” award-winning symposium on July 4th. （YouTube）