Al Gore and the UN climate panel's chief scientist, Rajendra Pachauri accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Monday for sounding the alarm over global warming and spreading awareness on how to counteract it.
Gore shared the coveted award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was represented at the awards ceremony in Oslo by its leader, Rajendra Pachauri.
"We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency — a threat to the survival of our civilisation that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here," Gore said in prepared remarks released before his acceptance speech. The other Nobel awards — in medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and economics — will be presented at a separate ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.
Each Nobel Prize includes a gold medal, a diploma and a 10 million Swedish kronor cash award. The Nobel Prizes, first awarded in 1901, are always presented December 10, the anniversary of the death of their creator, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel.
During the gala ceremony in Oslo's city hall, Gore and Pachauri accepted the peace prize before Norway's royalty, leaders and invited guests.
"It is time to make peace with the planet," Gore said in the prepared remarks. "We must quickly mobilise our civilisation with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war."
He urged China and the US — the world's biggest carbon emitters — to "make the boldest moves, or stand accountable before history for their failure to act."
Governments, meanwhile, are meeting in Bali, Indonesia, to start work on a new international treaty to reduce climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions.
The governments hope to have the new pact, which succeeds the Kyoto accord, in place by 2012, but Gore has said the urgency of the problem means they should aim to come to an agreement by 2010. Gore and Pachauri plan to fly to Bali on Wednesday to join the climate talks.
In Stockholm, the winners of the science Nobels receive their awards Monday from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf before being treated to a lavish white-tie banquet at City Hall.
The 2007 awards in medicine, chemistry and physics honoured breakthroughs in stem cell research on mice, solid-surface chemistry and the discovery of a phenomenon that lets computers and digital music players store reams of data on ever-shrinking hard disks. Three US economists shared the economics award for their work on how people's knowledge and self-interest affect their behavior in the market or in social situations such as voting and labor negotiations.
One of the economics winners, Leonid Hurwicz, 90, and the literature prize winner, 88-year-old British writer Doris Lessing, could not travel to Stockholm. They will receive their awards at later ceremonies in Minnesota and London, respectively.