2007 Nobel Peace Prize

2007 Nobel Peace Prize
Al Gore and leader of IPCC Rajendra K. Pachauri on the balcony of Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway, on 10 December 2007.

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore "for their efforts 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".[1]

Announcement

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the award on 12 October 2007. It stated that responses to indications of future climate changes must follow the precautionary principle, and that extensive changes would damage living standards, leading to likelihood of wars and violent conflicts. It paid tribute to the work of the IPCC:[1]

Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming.

— [1]

It said that "Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world’s leading environmentalist politicians", and described him as "probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted." In conclusion, it said the Nobel Committee was "seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control."[1]

The award was given immediate publicity: an Associated Press article published by USA Today on 12 October 2007 and headlined "Gore, scientists share Nobel Peace Prize" quoted Pachauri as saying "All the scientists that have contributed to the work of the IPCC are the Nobel laureates who have been recognized and acknowledged by the Nobel Prize Committee". He added that "they should feel deeply encouraged and inspired. It is their contribution which has been recognized", and said "I only happen to be a functionary that essentially oversees the process."[2] On the same day, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory listed its scientists who had contributed to the IPCC's work, and said that Pachauri had sent a letter to lead authors of the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report saying that he had "been stunned in a pleasant way with the news of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC. This makes each of you a Nobel Laureate and it is my privilege to acknowledge this honour on your behalf". The letter went on to say that "The fact that the IPCC has earned the recognition that this award embodies, is really a tribute to your knowledge, hard work and application."[3]

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