December 8, 2007 in Nation/World

No motorcades for one Nobel Prize winner

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Former Vice President Al Gore boards the high speed train from Oslo airport to the city center on Friday. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

OSLO, Norway – Former Vice President Al Gore skipped the traditional airport motorcade and took public transportation when he arrived Friday in Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize he shared for his campaign against global warming.

Gore will accept the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize he shared with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital on Monday.

Upon arriving in Oslo, Gore urged countries meeting at a climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, “to promptly produce a strong mandate.” The governments hope to finish drafting a new climate treaty by 2009, with a current target of 2012 for ratification.

Gore said he hoped they would move the date for a successor to the Kyoto treaty ahead by two years “so we don’t have to wait until 2012” to have a tougher climate agreement in place.

Before his arrival with his wife, Tipper, Gore told his hosts that he would not need the traditional motorcade from the airport, preferring to take the high-speed and environmentally friendly airport train, and then walking to his downtown Oslo hotel.

“I use public transport when I can. It isn’t always possible,” Gore said while walking to his hotel. He said the train was much faster than a limousine, but that it was also a symbol of efforts to reduce pollution in hopes of slowing climate change.

“It is a gesture. It is also one of the changes we are all going to have to be doing anyway,” Gore said about the need to change travel habits.

Gore has campaigned worldwide to draw attention to climate change, which led to the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” He shared the peace prize with a U.N. panel of scientists who reported on climate change since 1990.

Nobel Peace Prize committee secretary Geir Lundestad acted as tour guide for the Gores. At one point, Lundestad pointed out the Nobel Peace Prize banners lining both sides of the street.

Gore and Rajendra Pachauri, who arrives today to represent the climate panel, will accept their Nobel medals and diplomas at a ceremony Monday, followed by a parade and banquet. The annual Nobel Peace Prize concert is Tuesday.


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