Jumat, 07 Desember 2007

Al Gore in Norway to receive Nobel prize (AFP)

OSLO (AFP) - Al Gore arrived in Norway on Friday to receive his Nobel Peace Prize, immediately displaying his green credentials by taking an airport shuttle rather than a limousine to travel into Oslos city centre.

The man who used to be the next president of the United States, as he jokingly calls himself in his "An Inconvenient Truth" film about climate change, flew in with family members ahead of Mondays ceremony, television showed.

Arriving on a commercial flight, Gore and his entourage then hopped on the high-speed train.

"Our friends here in Norway have told us that leaving aside the fact that its a great environmental symbol, its actually quicker and better," he told Norwegian television, with his wife Tipper standing by his side.

"So in that sense its a metaphor for the challenge the world community now must confront... Some of the new steps that are good for the environment are going to improve our lives in other ways," he said.

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was jointly awarded in October to 59-year-old Gore and to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN body of 3,000 scientists, for their work in highlighting global warming.

The winners will receive their 10-million-Swedish-kronor (1.5-million-dollar, 1.1-million-euro) prize from Ole Mjoes, head of the five-member Nobel committee, at Mondays ceremony.

Indian scientist Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC chairman, will receive the award on behalf of the panel.

Announcing the prize on October 12, Mjoes said Gore was "probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

Gore on Friday reiterated the link between the fight against climate change and peace.

"There are now millions of climate refugees in the world who have been forced to leave their ancient homes and move in to areas already occupied by others," he said, citing the case of Darfur.

"The increasing struggle for declining natural resources like water ... leads to the increased potential for conflict," he said.

An international conference underway in Bali ought to lay the groundwork for a "much tougher" climate change pact that would enter in force in 2010, two years ahead of schedule, he said.

Delegates from nearly 190 nations are gathered for the December 3-14 summit in Bali which is tasked with laying the groundwork for a new treaty to tackle global warming beyond 2012, when the Kyoto Protocols first phase expires.

The United States, the worlds biggest CO2 polluter along with China, "should be the natural leader in this challenge," Gore added.

US President George W. Bush, who defeated Gore in 2000 elections for the White House, has rejected the Kyoto Protocol that Gore negotiated while he was vice president under Bill Clinton.

Gore said nonetheless he saw "very positive signs" and cited the numerous US cities and states that have set their own CO2 emission targets.

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