The findings of a recent Japanese government survey of climate change awareness within the Japanese public indicated that interest in climate change has declined since a similar survey was conducted 9 years ago.
40 percent of survey respondents answered that they did not know what the Paris Agreement was. The findings also revealed that there was less awareness among younger age groups.
Japanese media outlets seem to be complicit in waning climate change awareness. They are reporting climate change issues less often and limiting coverage on the impacts of climate change to, for example, “abnormal weather patterns.”
Here are the facts: This summer saw record-breaking torrential rain in the southern parts of Japan, scorching temperatures that led to water limits in the east, including the capital area around Tokyo, and a number of record breaking typhoons.
The climate is changing before our eyes and the impact of this dramatic shift is increasingly threatening the people of Japan. That simple truth is betrayed by opaque media coverage and, as a result, less and less obvious to the Japanese public.
This situation is in desperate need of change. But how do you nurture climate change awareness in a country where apathy is on the rise and the media fails to inform the public?
Our answer: create a funky video on divestment with your volunteers, sync it with a sick beat, and blow everyone’s mind out of complacency:
This quirky 3-minute video is a story about how our money is being funnelled into unsustainable energy, including climate change-driving fossil fuels.
Within the context of Japan’s media whiteout and floundering climate awareness, 350.org Japan’s approach begins with a simple, accessible narrative. Our money is propelling the climate crisis, and that needs to change. Vocals repeat the word “divestment” towards the end the video, reinforcing the word in the viewer’s subconscious. The striking visuals connect divestment with the act of withdrawing money from the ATM, a representation of removing our money from fossil fuels to avert the climate crisis.
This narrative and sound design combined with a surreal animation of that features a conductor (who is simultaneously a bank staffer in the real world) inside an ATM who orchestrates the flow of money toward climate catastrophe makes the video fun and easy to understand.
The people of Japan are not quite ready to take to the picket lines and protest for the climate. Through this video, we aim to spark a conversation about where our money is going and how that flow of funding affects the world around us. While divestment is still to take off in Japan, we made this video with the hope of building our power through educating and mobilizing more people to join our campaign to move our money towards a renewable future.
350 Japan is currently starting up a new campaign to convince Japanese citizens to divest from fossil-fuel and nuclear banks and move their personal savings to nuclear and fossil-free financial institutions through the My Bank My Future Campaign. By promoting personal divestment, we will influence the investment policies of smaller regional banks and credit unions to exclude fossil-fuel and nuclear-related companies and create a larger social dialogue around the responsibility of Japan’s major financial institutions to support the transition toward a renewable-energy society.