Ole D Mjøs, leader of the committee that's appointed by the Norwegian Parliament to award the Peace Prize, said the prize was to be awarded in two equal parts, to Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Mjøs said the Norwegian Nobel Committee wanted to further strengthen the focus on the importance of battling climate change by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Gore and the IPCC, which is led by Rajendra Pachauri.
This year's winners beat out a long list of candidates around which speculation had swirled for weeks. Included among them were human rights champions including Irena Sendler of Poland, who saved 2,500 Jewish children during World War II and Thich Quang Do, a Buddhist monk in Vietnam. Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari also has been a longtime candidate because of his peace-broking efforts in the Aceh conflict in Indonesia.
Although the Nobel Committee doesn't reveal nominees, it's also believed that the Salvation Army has been a longtime candidate for the Peace Prize. All told, 181 candidates were nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, including 46 organizations.
The prize itself, which carries a cash award of SEK 10 million (about USD 1.7 million), will be awarded in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of industrialist Alfred Nobel’s death. He set up the prizes and arranged for their funding through the terms of his will.
While the other Nobel prizes are awarded in Stockholm, capital of Nobel's native Sweden, he decreed that the Peace Prize be awarded by a committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament. Norway and Sweden were in a political union at the time.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee is made up of five persons, mostly former politicians, who reflect the elected make-up of the Norwegian Parliament. Current members include Mjøs, a professor and former head of the University in Tromsø; Berge Ragnar Furre, a historian and theology professor at the University of Oslo who represented the Socialist Left party in parliament from 1973-77; Sissel Rønbeck, a member of parliament from 1977-93 from the Labour Party; Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, political adviser to the Progress Party and a member of parliament from 1989-93; and Kaci Kullmann Five, a former trade minister and member of parliament for the Conservatives from 1981-97.
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