Oxfam International today extends heartfelt congratulations to Al Gore and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recognised by the Nobel Foundation for raising the consciousness of millions of people about the impact of climate change around the world.
"Al Gore's tireless efforts have made climate change undeniable, propelling the topic to the top of the international agenda where it belongs," said Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand. "Credit is due to the Nobel Foundation for highlighting the increasingly clear reality that peace is threatened around the world by an unstable and unhealthy environment," added Coates.
Climate change is one of the greatest ethical dilemmas ever faced by humankind. The world's poorest people, those who have been least responsible for global warming pollution, are the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change, with increasingly dangerous consequences for millions of people should the international community fail to act.
"The time for nebulous goals is over—the time for a sea change in the way we behave, as individuals and as countries, is now," said Coates.
Oxfam hopes that this recognition will reinforce the urgency of international action on climate change ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in December. World leaders need to muster the political will to reduce global warming pollution through mandatory international targets and assist the most vulnerable communities to adapt to climate impacts.
Oxfam applauds Al Gore's accomplishment and hopes that others in leadership positions will find the courage and conviction to follow his example.