Press Release


Kiko Network

Kiko Network’s Kimiko Hirata awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize

Recognized for efforts on coal - third ever Japanese recipient (first female)

Kimiko Hirata, International Director of Kiko Network and staff member since the organization’s establishment, has been awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, an award often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Environment” due to its prestigiousness.

Hirata was awarded the Prize for her NGO activities to prevent climate change, notably leading to the cancellation of one-third of the planned new coal power plant projects initiated by the Japanese Government and businesses following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (For further details, see the Goldman Environmental Prize web page, Kimiko’s award page, and press release).

This honor would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of a great number of people, and Kimiko Hirata and the entire Kiko Network staff would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you. Kiko Network will continue to develop further activities toward the realization of a decarbonized society, and we appreciate your continued support.

Message from Kimiko Hirata

Over the last several years, we have been trying to put an end to the rush of construction of new coal-fired power plants. Activities calling for the cancellation of plant construction projects have grown thanks to the efforts of Kiko Network staff, local organizations and citizens, and support and assistance from domestic and foreign lawyers, experts and NGOs. I did not expect to receive such a prestigious award, but this award is not only for me - it is recognition for everyone who has worked together with us in these activities so persistently. This recognition highlights the significance of each and every Japanese citizen's efforts for social change, and this alone will be invaluable for us in our future activities. However, 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.

About the Goldman Environmental Prize - third ever Japanese recipient (first female)

Established in 1989 by Richard and Rhoda Goldman, the Goldman Environmental Prize is awarded to six individuals every year to recognize their “sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment.” In its 32-year history, Japanese recipients of the Prize have been Yoichi Kuroda (1991) for his efforts on tropical forest conservation and timber trade issues, and Hirofumi Yamashita (1998) for his work on Isahaya Bay reclamation issues. As the third ever Japanese awardee, Kimiko Hirata is the first Japanese recipient in 23 years, and the first woman. Other awardees of the Prize that are well-known in Japan include Wangari Maathai (1991), Kenyan environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Ursula Sladek (2011), who launched a German citizens' renewable energy company.


Virtual Award Ceremony (English)

Date: June 16, 2021 (Wednesday) 8:00-9:00am (Japan Standard Time)

Live stream and recording of the ceremony can be viewed on the Goldman Environmental Prize YouTube channel:

* Held annually at the San Francisco Opera House, this year’s ceremony will be held online in light of the COVID-19 pandemic


Jane Fonda, American actress, featured in films such as Klute and Coming Home

Sigourney Weaver, American actress, featured in such films as the Alien series and Avatar

Lenny Kravitz, American musician, known for hit songs such as Are You Gonna Go My Way

Ndlovu Youth Choir, South African church choir formed through a child care program, others

Award Commemoration Symposium (Held in Japan, in Japanese)

Date: July 4, 2021 1:00-3:00pm (Japan Standard Time)

Location: Conference hall in Tokyo (without audience) + Online broadcast

Tentative Program:

Part 1: Awarding of Goldman Environmental Prize

Commemoration Message and Acceptance speech by Kimiko Hirata

Part 2: Towards a net-zero emissions and a coal phase-out in Japan (panel discussion)

See our event page (in Japanese) for further details

Hosts: Kiko Network / Goldman Environmental Foundation


Goldman Environmental Prize home page:


Kiko Network’s Kimiko Hirata awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize- Recognized for efforts on coal - third ever Japanese recipient (first female)(PDF)


Kiko Network:

Kiko Network Kyoto Office: TEL: +81-75-254-1012  Email:

Kiko Network Tokyo Office: TEL: +81-3-3263-9210  Email: