Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, congratulates Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore

Statement by Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in Response to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore Jointly Winning the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Nairobi, 12 October 2007 - 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.

The two winners -the IPCC and former US Vice-President Al Gore- have contributed significantly to elevating public attention on the issue of global warming while outlining the enormous risks but also the enormous opportunities confronting the world.

In doing so, the IPCC and Mr Gore have contributed to the unprecedented momentum on the climate change challenge in 2007.

This now needs to be translated into negotiations on a decisive, post 2012 emissions reduction agreement, when governments gather in December in Bali for the UN climate convention meeting.

Established in the late 1980s by UNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation of the UN, the IPCC and its more than 2,000 scientists and experts has grappled with the science, the likely impacts of climate change and the economics.

2007 has seen the publication of the IPCC's fourth assessment report.

The IPCC, under the leadership of its chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri, has put a full stop behind the science-climate change is happening.

It has also outlined the impacts, from the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas to more frequent and devastating floods in New York to Bangladesh-impacts, not in some far away future but in the life-time of people reading and hearing the announcement of the Peace Prize Committee.

The IPCC has also calculated the price of peace and stability on this planet-perhaps 0.1 per cent of global GDP a year for 30 years for combating climate change and avoiding instability, rising tensions and conflict.

The IPCC, in validating the climate science, represents one of the most important contributions the UN has made in its history to humanity and its current and future choices.

UNEP has also recognized the importance of Mr Gore's contributions to environmental stability with our own more modest accolade.

This year Mr Gore was named a UNEP Champions of the Earth for "making environmental protection a pillar of his public service and for educating the world on the dangers posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions".

For More Information Please Contact Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, at tel: +254 20 762 3084, mobile: +254 733 632755, or e-mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org; or Anne-France White, Associate Media Officer, at tel: +254 20 762 3088, or e-mail: anne-france.white@unep.org.


 

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