Award Winner 2007
The Göteborg Award for Sustainable Development, previously known as the City of Göteborg International Environment Prize, is awarded this year to environmental communicator Al Gore. “Like no other person he has called on mankind to save the climate” says the Jury. Al Gore will receive the one million Swedish crowns prize in person at a ceremony in the Scandinavium Arena on January 22, 2008.
Al Gore, former member of Congress, Senator and Vice President of The United States of America, has during the past year drawn a great deal of attention throughout the world for his film “An Inconvenient Truth”, which has also won an Oscar for Best Documentary.
He is awarded the prize for his “relentless commitment to put an end to the climate crisis by increasing public awareness about global warming” the Jury writes in their motivation.
Al Gore was also recently awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize together with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
– Born in 1948. Married to Tipper Gore, 3 daughters and one son.
– Lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
– Son of Albert Gore, influential democratic politician.
– Enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam for four months.
– Worked 1971-76 as a reporter for The Tennessean in Nashville.
– Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 at only 28 years old and served 8 years.
– Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984.
– Vice President under Bill Clinton 1993-2001.
– Presidential candidate in 2000.
– Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2006.
– Member of the Board of Apple and Advisor to Google’s executive management.
– Has started the investment company ”Generation Investment Management” which deals with sustainable investments.
-Owns the TV channel Current TV together with a good friend.
-Received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize together with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The success of ”An Inconvenient Truth” has also raised the esteem held for Al Gore personally. He has become an ”Environmental Statesman” throughout the world. The film was introduced in January of 2006 and was a result of Al Gore’s development of his slide show presentation and thousands of lectures. The film contributed tremendously to raising the awareness of millions of Americans about the threats of global warming. The film won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2006. The income from the film, DVD and book about ”An Inconvenient Truth” is donated to the Alliance for Climate Protection.
To get the message out to as many people as possible Gore teaches ”climate trainees” (Gore’s Calvary). In the USA more than one thousand trainees of all ages and professions have taken the course, from Cameron Diaz to employees at Wal-Mart (the world’s largest retailer), from retirees to students. Democrats as well as Republicans.
Another event which received a tremendous amount of attention was the Live Earth concert that was aired on July 7, 2007. It was initiated by The Alliance for Climate Protection, where Al Gore is Chairman.
In February 2007 Al Gore and Richard Branson announced ”The Virgin Earth Challenge”, a competition with a prize of 25 million US dollars to the first person or organization that can present a practical solution for the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Gore has also started the ”Generation Investment Management” which invests in companies that have a responsible view in their operations for climate change and other major global issues.
Al Gore received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize together with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their work to raise consciousness in the world about climate change.
Gore began to take an interest in the environment in his early teens after reading Rachel Carson’s book ”Silent Spring” that was published in 1962 and dealt with the frightening environmental effects of DDT and other pesticides.
His older sister Nancy was heavy smoker and died of lung cancer at the early age of 46. This event deeply affected Al Gore, in part because the family farm in Tennessee grew tobacco and in part because of the parallel between the cynical denial by the tobacco industry of the connection between cigarette smoking and cancer and the denial of the oil industry that burning fossil fuels causes global warming.
While studying at Harvard at the end of the 60’s one of Gore’s teachers, Professor Roger Revelle, was convinced that there was a connection between the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (greenhouse gases) and the rise of the earth’s average temperature. He convinced Gore and the other students in his class that the growing levels of carbon dioxide would heat up the earth, in other words create the greenhouse effect.
In 1989 Gore’s then 6 year old son Albert was seriously injured in a car accident. Al Gore took time-out from politics to be by his son’s side. Thoughts about how fleeting life is and what is truly important in life led to Gore writing “Earth in the Balance” during this time (see below).
As a politician Gore has worked to raise consciousness in the world about climate change but it has often been an uphill battle. It was especially difficult after the Republican success in the presidential election in 1994. In 1997, when negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol were about to collapse (because of resistance by the negotiators from the U.S.), Gore flew to Kyoto, despite strong opposition within the Clinton Administration and (in his own words) helped save the Kyoto Protocol. Gore convinced Bill Clinton to sign the Kyoto Protocol but it was never sent to the Senate for approval where it probably would have been voted down.
During his time in Congress and the Senate Gore had the opportunity to travel around the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and from the Aral Sea to the Dead Sea. Through his discussions with researchers and others everywhere he traveled he gathered a slew of first-hand testimonies on the changes in the environment and climate. In the 80’s Al Gore initiated congressional committee hearings on Global Warming and Roger Revelle was his first witness.
Gore wrote the book “Earth in the Balance”, released in 1992, a few months before the presidential election where Al Gore was running as Bill Clinton’s candidate for Vice President. The book attracted a great deal of interest and made the New York Times bestseller list, which is highly unusual for a book written by an active top politician.
In the book Gore introduces, among other things, ”The Global Marshall Plan” modeled after the Marshall Plan created at the end of the Second World War, when the United States provided financial support to help rebuild a war-torn Europe. Gore’s Global Marshall Plan contains five strategic goals:
-Stabilizing world population
-Developing and sharing appropriate technologies
-A new global economy
-A new generation of treaties and agreements
-A new global environmental consensus
Gore’s latest book “An Assault on Reason” was published in 2007.
The 2007 Gothenburg Award of Sustainable Development, 1 million SEK (corresponding to 144,000 USD), is awarded to MR. AL GORE for his relentless commitment to put an end to the climate crisis by increasing public awareness about global warming.
Mr. Gore’s now famous educational slide-show lectures given all over the world, his prize-winning documentary film ”An Inconvenient Truth”, his books, the rock concerts he has initiated to engage young people and how he has used his position as former Vice President of The United States of America are all examples of his inspiring, highly innovative and informal style of leadership. His basic view is that everyone, regardless of who and where we are, can personally contribute to the climate campaign. He has also started a long-term trainee program for people dedicated to spreading the message.
Mr. Gore’s concern for the environment started early and he held the very first hearing on global warming in the U.S. Congress back in the late 1970’s. Since then he has traveled extensively in his pursuit of facts.
He has pushed for more stringent legislation and international agreements to reduce emissions and he has worked to promote more sustainable technologies and lifestyles. His bestseller, ”Earth in the Balance”, was published 1992, in connection with the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, where Al Gore played a prominent role.
Mr. Gore has been extremely successful in combining scientific facts, human perspectives and courageous political strategies with an infectious optimism to show us what we can and must do to avoid our planet’s current rendezvous with catastrophe. Through his belief in mankind and in the common sense in all of us he has become a guru and crusader, giving millions of people hope for the future.
Al Gore’s official website:
The “Moving Beyond Kyoto” article in The New York Times that Al Gore wrote in July 2007:
About the Greenhouse effect and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that Al shared the Nobel Peace Prize with:
The Virgin Earth Challenge