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Gore Wins 2007 Gothenburg Sustainable Development Award

GOTENBORG, Sweden, September 11, 2007 (ENS) - Above all others, Al Gore has called humanity to save the climate, said the jury for the Gothenburg Award on Sustainable Development, choosing the former U.S. vice president to receive the award for 2007. Gore has "has called humanity to a deeper understanding of our serious situation – and what politicians, executives and all of us can and must do," the jury said.

"The heat is growing, our Planet Earth has got fever," said the jury. "Already this gives rise to extreme weather with drought, cloudburst, hurricanes and misery to hundreds of millions of people. Global warming might dismantle the world economy - if we fail to put a stop to it!"

The Gothenburg Award on Sustainable Development 2007, one million Swedish kronor (US$144,000) aims to "stimulate and encourage strategic work for national and international sustainable development."

The Award was founded by the City of Gothenburg and several interested companies. It is distributed by the city together with Andra AP-fonden, Carl Bennet AB, Elanders AB, Eldan Recycling, Folksam, Götaverken Miljo, Handelsbanken, Nordea, Peab, Schenker AB, SKF, Stena Metall AB. This is the eighth Gothenburg Award.

"We are extremely proud and happy to be able to give the 2007 Gothenburg Award on Sustainable Development to Mr. Al Gore," said Stefan Edman, author, biologist and chairman of the jury.

On January 22, 2008, Gore will go to Gothenburg to receive the award at the city's public Save the Climate Event. "This will be an unforgettable evening with prominent artists - and with a speech by the most important opinion maker today on Planet Earth," Edman said.

By giving his educational slide-show lectures all over the globe as shown in the awarded documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth," by writing books, by initiating rock concerts engaging young people and by using his position as a former vice president of the Unites States, Gore has shown an inspiring and most innovative, informal leadership, the jury said.

"His basic view is that we all, 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 far and wide."

Gore's engagement in the environment started early; he held the very first hearing on global warming in the US Congress in the late 1970s. Since then he has travelled extensively in his pursuit of facts. He has pushed for stronger legislation and international agreements to reduce emissions and to promote more sustainable technologies and lifestyles.

His bestseller, "Earth in the Balance," was published in 1992, in connection with the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, where Gore played a prominent role.

"Al Gore has been extremely successful in combining scientific facts, human perspectives and brave political strategies with a catching optimism in what we must do to turn away from our planet's destiny for catastrophe," the jury said. "In his belief in mankind, and in the common sense of all of us, he has become a guru and crusader, giving millions of people hope for the future."

The jury is headed by Stefan Edman and includes Russel Johnson, formerly environmental manager for IKEA furniture stores; Lars Hallén, Life Academy; Lotta Göthe, Ecoplan; Johan Trouvé, Schenker AB; Yvonne Wallin, Pejling Marketing; and Elin Eriksson, IVL Swedish Enviromental Research Institute.

Past winners of the Gothenburg Award on Sustainable Development are:

  • 2006; Takeshi Uchiyamada, Takehisa Yaegashi and Yuichi Fujii, Japan
    For their outstanding, purposeful and critical contributions to the development of Toyota Prius, the world's first commercial hybrid automobile.

  • 2005; Abahuzamugambi coffee cooperative, Rwanda
    For its pioneering work to produce coffee in a sustainable way from social, envioronmental, as well as economic aspects.

  • 2004; Joan Bavaria, USA and Tessa Tennant, Great Britain
    For their work in the field of sustainable investment, the purpose of which is to promote socially, environmentally and economically reponsible investing.

  • 2003; Hans Eek, Sweden and Wolfgang Feist, Germany
    For the technique of building houses with passive heating systems.

  • 2002; Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway
    For her visionary and innovative environment work for a sustainable development.

  • 2001; Forest Stewardship Council and Control of Organic Production, KRAV
    For their work with environmental certification and eco-labelling of forest and products.

  • 2000; Geoffrey Ballard, Canada
    For his work with fuel cell technology and its applications.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2007. All rights reserved.

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