Al Gore, UN Climate Body to Receive 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Former US vice president Al Gore and the UN's top climate panel will receive the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Monday for their work to help combat global warming.

2007 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore (L) and Rajendra K. Pachauri, representing the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), give a press conference at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo 09 December 2207 (Photo: AFP)

Later in the day in Stockholm, the winners of the literature, medicine, physics, chemistry and economics prizes will receive their awards.

Gore, 59, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- a United Nations body of about 3,000 experts -- are being honored for their work "to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

Gore, who has reinvented himself as a climate warrior since failing in his bid to become US president in 2000, told reporters in Oslo on Sunday that global warming was "posing a great unprecedented threat to the future of our civilization."

Both he and IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri, who will accept the prize on behalf of his organization, were nonetheless optimistic about the prospects of a global effort to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, which most experts now agree is causing the planet's atmosphere to heat up.

Delegates from nearly 190 nations are gathered for the December 3-14 summit in Bali which is tasked with laying the groundwork for a new treaty to tackle global warming beyond 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol's first phase expires.

"The signals that came from the leaders (gathered in Bali) ... were very clear and uniformly so: that the time for doubting the signs is over. What we need now is action," Pachauri said on Sunday.

Gore, whose film "An Inconvenient Truth" won him an Oscar earlier this year, meanwhile emphasized the link between the fight against climate change and peace.

"The increasing struggle for declining natural resources like water ... leads to the increased potential for conflict," he said as he arrived in the Norwegian capital on Friday.

Announcing the prize on October 12, Ole Mjoes, head of the five-member Nobel committee, said Gore was "probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

The former US vice president and the IPCC will receive the prize, consisting of a Nobel diploma, a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (1.5 million dollars, 1.1 million euros) to be split between them at a formal ceremony in Oslo's city hall at 1:00 pm (1200 GMT).

The Nobel committee's decision to award the peace prize to climate campaigners continues the trend of broadening its scope beyond the traditional fields of conflict prevention and resolution and disarmament.

Gore said Sunday that winning the Nobel prize had helped focus more of the world's attention on the dangers of global warming, which many experts say is causing sea levels to rise and changing weather patterns in a way that could wreak havoc on world ecosystems and all of humankind.

"The respect afforded this process has already resulted in increased attention to the importance of getting on with solving the crisis of the climate," he said.

At a separate ceremony on Monday -- the anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel -- the winners of the literature, medicine, physics, chemistry and economics prizes will receive their awards from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm's Concert Hall.

That ceremony will be followed by a gala banquet at Stockholm's city hall.

Source: AFP

Other news