October 12th, 2007 11:06 EST
Nobel Prize for Al Gore Highlights New Environmental Awareness
Washington -- By winning the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore joins a roster of prominent U.S. politicians and activists recognized by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. He shares the prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international body of scientists from more than 100 countries.
Earlier American Nobel Peace laureates include: President Theodore Roosevelt (1906); President Woodrow Wilson (1919); Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1945), known as “the father of the United Nations”; the civil rights advocate Martin Luther King Jr. (1964); Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (1973), who shared the prize with the then-Foreign Minister of Vietnam Le Duc Tho; and former President Jimmy Carter (2002).
Gore was awarded the prestigious prize for his environmental advocacy, exemplified by his Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The main premise of the film -- that human activities, especially carbon dioxide emissions, put at risk Earth’s natural environment -- has gained widespread acceptance by scientific communities and governments, including the Bush administration.
“Vice President Gore has helped to bring attention to climate change,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. “The IPCC scientists have done remarkable work to bring scientific rigor to the questions surrounding climate change….The next step … is implementing climate change strategies that are effective and practical, and that allow … countries to do the work that they need to do to lift people out of poverty,” he said.
Although the IPCC’s specific recommendations on environmental issues sometimes differed from the approach of the Bush administration, U.S. government investments in climate-related research contributed to the development of IPCC’s reports, according to U.S. officials.
IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. The U.S. delegation to IPCC includes experts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the State Department.
Made up of more than 2,000 experts, the IPCC does not conduct research, but collects and reviews data from other organizations, including the multiagency U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which has spent approximately $9 billion on climate change science.
Commenting in February on a recently issued IPCC report, the U.S. Department of Energy said the report “confirms what President Bush has said about the nature of climate change and it reaffirms the need for continued U.S. leadership in addressing global climate issues.”
The United States is devoting more than any other nation -- nearly $29 billion -- to scientific research, technology, international assistance and incentive programs aimed at curbing dangerous emissions, according to the Department of Energy.
For more information on U.S. and international action on climate change and other environmental issues, see Climate Change and Clean Energy.
On environmental issues and U.S. film industry, see also Hollywood Goes Green.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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