Former Vice President Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world’s attention to the dangers of global warming, a Norwegian lawmaker said Thursday.
“A prerequisite for winning the Nobel Peace Prize is making a difference, and Al Gore has made a difference,” Conservative Member of Parliament Boerge Brende, a former minister of environment and then of trade, told The Associated Press.
Brende said he joined political opponent Heidi Soerensen of the Socialist Left Party to nominate Gore as well as Canadian Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier before the nomination deadline expired Thursday.
“Al Gore, like no other, has put climate change on the agenda. Gore uses his position to get politicians to understand, while Sheila works from the ground up,” Brende said.
"I think climate change is the biggest challenge we face in this century," Brende said.
During eight years as Bill Clinton’s vice president, Gore pushed for climate measures, including the Kyoto Treaty. Since leaving office in 2001 he has campaigned worldwide, including with his Oscar-nominated documentary on climate change called “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Norwegian lawmakers are among the thousands of people and groups with rights to nominate Nobel candidates. Others include members of national governments, past laureates, members of the awards committee and its staff, and many university professors.
The winner is traditionally announced in mid-October, with the prize always presented on the Dec. 10 anniversary of the death of its creator, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel.
The secretive Nobel committee never comments on specific nominations, but members often note that anyone can be nominated. Last year, there were 191 nominations for the prize that went to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded to help the poor.
Other announced nominations for the 2007 prize include Vietnamese Monk Thich Quang Do and Sail Training International, a British-based charity helping young people develop through sailing.
The five-member Norwegian awards committee accepts proposals postmarked by Feb. 1 and expects a rough count of nominations on Feb. 12.
In 2004, the Nobel Peace Prize went to Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, which Brende said shows the award committee's focus on ecological problems as a source of conflict.