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  BBC 12 Oct 07
In quotes: Nobel peace prize reaction

Yahoo News 12 Oct 07
Al Gore, UN Panel share Nobel for peace
By DOUG MELLGREN and MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writers

Yahoo News 12 Oct 07
Al Gore and UN climate body win Nobel Peace Prize

by Alice Ritchie

Former US vice president Al Gore and the UN's top climate panel shared the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, in a major boost to the international campaign for action against global warming.

Gore, who has reinvented himself as a climate warrior since failing in his bid to become US president in 2000, said he was "deeply honoured" by the award and warned of the "planetary emergency" posed by climate change.

The 2007 prize was jointly awarded to Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- a UN body of about 3,000 experts which has highlighted the human role in steadily mounting global temperatures.

The Norwegian Nobel committee cited the recipients 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."

The committee said it wanted to contribute to efforts "to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man's control."

Gore, 59, is bound to attract most of the attention when the winners claim their 10-million-Swedish-kronor (1.5-million-dollar, 1.08-million-euro) prize in December.

Bill Clinton's vice president has helped put global warming at the top of the international agenda with his Oscar-winning 2006 film "An Inconvenient Truth", based on years of lectures on the subject.

The Nobel committee described Gore as "probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted".

After hearing the news, Gore pleaded for a greater sense of urgency.

"We face a true planetary emergency," he said. "The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."

Some experts say Gore's campaign, the Oscar and now the Nobel Peace Prize could persuade him to make a last minute bid for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 US presidential election. He has previously discounted the idea.

The IPCC, set up in 1988, is tasked with giving policymakers a summary of the latest knowledge about climate change.

Its fourth report, published this year, gave the starkest view yet, warning that climate change was already on the march and that rising temperatures fuelled the risk of drought, flooding and violent storms.

The committee said the IPCC had "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming", and had worked "to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming".

IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said winning the Nobel Peace Prize would underline the importance of the panel's work.

"The message should go out to everyone -- developed and developing countries -- we are all in this together. We have to make sure that climate change does not afflict the inhabitants of this planet," the Indian scientist told a cheering crowd outside his office in New Delhi.

"Climate change threatens to disrupt stable economic activities all over the world and it also threatens to disrupt social stability."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed Gore's commitment to the issue and the IPCC's work to establish "beyond doubt" that climate change is a fact.

"As a result, there is now unprecedented momentum for action on climate change around the world, and recognition of the UN as the forum for reaching agreement on it," he said.

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

Yahoo News 12 Oct 07
Al Gore, UN Panel share Nobel for peace
By DOUG MELLGREN and MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writers

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s climate change panel won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for spreading awareness of man-made climate change and laying the foundations for counteracting it.

Gore, whose film on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," won an Academy Award earlier this year, had been widely tipped to win Friday's prize, which expanded the Norwegian committee's interpretation of peacemaking and disarmament efforts that have traditionally been the award's foundations.

"We face a true planetary emergency," Gore said. "The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."

The Nobel committee chairman, Ole Danbolt Mjoes, asserted that the prize was not aimed at the Bush administration, which rejected Kyoto and was widely criticized outside the U.S. for not taking global warming seriously enough.

"We would encourage all countries, including the big countries, to challenge, all of them, to think again and to say what can they do to conquer global warming," Mjoes said. "The bigger the powers, the better that they come in front of this."

Two Gore advisers, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to share his thinking, said the award will not make it any more likely that he will seek the presidency in 2008.

If anything, the Peace Prize makes the rough-and-tumble of a presidential race less appealing to Gore, they said, because now he has a huge, international platform to fight global warming and may not want to do anything to diminish it.

One of the advisers said that while Gore is unlikely to rule out a bid in the coming days, the prospects of the former vice president entering the fray in 2008 are "extremely remote."

"Perhaps winning the Nobel and being viewed as a prophet in his own time will be sufficient," said Kenneth Sherrill, a political analyst at Hunter College in New York.

Gore, who was an advocate of stemming climate change and global warning well before his eight years as vice president, called the award meaningful because of his co-winner, calling the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the "world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis."

Gore plans to donate his half of the $1.5 million prize money to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan nonprofit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion worldwide about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

In its citation, the committed lauded Gore's "strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

The last American to win the prize, or share it, was former President Carter, who won it 2002.

At the time, then committee chairman Gunnar Berge called the prize "a kick in the leg" to the Bush administration for its threats of war against Iraq. In response, some members of the secretive committee criticized Berge for expressing personal views in the panel's name.

Mjoes, elected to succeed Berge a few months later, referred to that dispute on Friday, saying the committee "has never given a kick in the leg to anyone."

The White House said the prize was not seen as increasing pressure on the administration or showing that President Bush's approach missed the mark.

"Of course he's happy for Vice President Gore," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "He's happy for the international panel on climate change scientists who also shared the peace prize. Obviously it's an important recognition."

Fratto said Bush has no plans to call Gore.

In its citation, the committee said that Gore "has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians" and cited his awareness at an early stage "of the climatic challenges the world is facing.

The committee cited the IPCC for its two decades of scientific reports that have "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over 100 countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming."

It went on to say that because of the panel's efforts, global warming has been increasingly recognized. In the 1980s it "seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent."

Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, said he and Gore really had 2,000 co-laureates each of the scientists in the U.N. panel's research network.

"This award also thrusts a new responsibility on our shoulders," Pachauri said. "We have to do more, and we have many more miles to go."

But some questioned the prize decision.

"Awarding it to Al Gore cannot be seen as anything other than a political statement. Awarding it to the IPCC is well-founded," said Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist.

He criticized Gore's film as having "some very obvious mistakes, like the argument that we're going to see six meters of sea-level rise," he said.

"They (Nobel committee) have a unique platform in getting people's attention on this issue, and I regret they have used it to make a political statement."

In his 1895 will creating the prize, the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel said it should be awarded for efforts toward peacemaking and disarmament, and the award now often also recognizes human rights, democracy, elimination of poverty, sharing resources and the environment. Last year, for example, it went to the Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank for pioneering the use of microcredit to spur creation of small businesses in poor nations.

Jan Egeland, a Norwegian peace mediator and former senior U.N. official for humanitarian affairs, called climate change more than an environmental issue.

"It is a question of war and peace," said Egeland, now director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo. "We're already seeing the first climate wars, in the Sahel belt of Africa." He said nomads and herders are in conflict with farmers because the changing climate has brought drought and a shortage of fertile lands.

Associated Press writer Ron Fournier contributed to this report from Washington.
On the Net: http://www.nobelpeaceprize.org

BBC 12 Oct 07
In quotes: Nobel peace prize reaction

Reaction from around the world to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to former US vice-president and climate change campaigner Al Gore, and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

PROFESSOR WANGARI MAATHAI, FOUNDER OF GREEN BELT MOVEMENT AND NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE 2004

When it was first announced that I would be receiving the peace prize in 2004, many people asked what does the environment have to do with peace?

By choosing Al Gore and the IPCC for the award in 2007, the Nobel Committee have rightly brought to our attention that climate change is the single biggest threat to world peace we have ever faced.

TONY FRATTO, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN

Of course [US President George W Bush] is happy for Vice-President Gore and happy for the international panel on climate change scientists who also shared the peace prize.

Obviously, it's an important recognition and we're sure the vice president is thrilled.

UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

Al Gore has been inspirational in focusing attention across the globe on this key issue. The IPCC's work on the science of climate change has been vital and they are now leading a process by which all countries will work together to tackle the effects of climate change.

ACHIM STEINER, HEAD OF UN ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (UNEP)

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has today made it clear that combating climate change is a central peace and security policy for the 21st Century.

SPOKESMAN FOR CZECH PRESIDENT VACLAV KLAUS, CLIMATE CHANGE SCEPTIC

He is somewhat surprised that Al Gore got the Peace Prize, because the relation between his activities and world peace is unclear and indistinct.

It rather seems that Gore's questioning of the basic foundation stones of the current civilisation does not contribute to peace much.

DR JEREMY LEGGETT, OXFORD UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE INSTITUTE

I can't think of a better combination for this award - the previously unsung and much-falsely maligned legion of scientific whistleblowers, and their tireless chief advocate.

Perhaps now the shrivelling band of fossil-fuel-funded contrarians and car-enthusiast media stars will finally have the good grace to shut up with the ignorance they pedal about the threat we face.

TONY JUNIPER, EXECUTIVE DIRECT OF FRIENDS OF THE EARTH

This is a very welcome signal that the world is beginning to wake up to how environmental challenges are going to shape many aspects of human welfare long into the future. We hope that politicians everywhere will see this signal and take heed.

JOSEPH BAST, HEARTLAND INSTITUTE

Al Gore doesn't understand the science behind climate change or he deliberately misrepresents it. Either way, that should disqualify him from a prize like this.

PIERS FORSTER, SCHOOL OF EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

It's every scientist's dream to win a Nobel Prize, so this is great for myself and the hundreds that worked on their reports over the years.

It is perhaps a little deflating though - that one man and his PowerPoint show has as much influence as the decades of dedicated work by so many scientists.

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON (SPOKESMAN)

The secretary-general notes that largely thanks to the IPCC's lucid and well-documented findings, it is now established beyond doubt that climate change is happening, and that much of it is caused by human activity. As a result, there is now unprecedented momentum for action on climate change around the world, and recognition of the UN as the forum for reaching agreement on it.

SHEILA WATT-CLOUTIER, CANADIAN INUIT ACTIVIST AND PREVIOUSLY TIPPED FOR THE PRIZE

The Planet Earth is a winner today and that is what counts for me.

BJORN LOMBORG, AUTHOR OF THE SKEPTICAL ENVIRONMENTALIST

Awarding it to Al Gore cannot be seen as anything other than a political statement. Awarding it to the IPCC is well-founded. [Gore's film The Inconvenient Truth has] some very obvious mistakes, like the argument that we're going to see 6m of sea-level rise.

They [the Nobel committee] have a unique platform in getting people's attention on this issue, and I regret they have used it to make a political statement.

JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT

[The recipients'] contributions to the prevention of climate change have raised awareness all over the world. Their work has been an inspiration for politicians and citizens alike. The European Union remains committed to its ambitious goals in the field. I call on all our partners to take this Nobel Peace Prize as an encouragement to approach this challenge even more swiftly, and decisively.

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