Al Gore’s efforts reflect how individuals and groups can change and crystalize awareness of global warming, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday, congratulating the former U.S. voce president and a U.N. climate change panel on winning the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Ban, who has made climate change a key priority of his tenure, cited Gore's "exceptional commitment and conviction as an example of the crucial role that individuals and civil society can play in encouraging multilateral responses to global issues," according to a statement released by the U.N. spokesman's office.
Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change jointly won the award Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for fighting it.
Ban, who held an unprecedented summit on climate change last month during the U.N. General Assembly, said that largely because of the IPCC's "lucid and well-documented findings, it is now established beyond a doubt that climate change is happening, and that much of it is caused by human activity."
The secretary-general also said he now looks to all nations to "commit themselves to a real breakthrough" at December's annual climate treaty conference in Indonesia, when the Europeans, Japanese and others hope to initiate talks for an emissions-reduction agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.k
The Kyoto accord requires 36 industrialized nations to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases by an average of five percent below 1990 levels by 2012. The U.S., however, has not signed the agreement.