Greenpeace Response to President Obama's Award of the Nobel Peace Prize

Media release - October 9, 2009
"We hope that the award of the Nobel Peace prize to President Barack Obama will give him the courage of his convictions on climate change. That it will spur him to take personal leadership on climate change to avert climate catastrophe. If allowed to go unchecked, climate change will wreak havoc on our societies - spurring mass migration, mass starvation and mass extinction. It will spark conflicts worldwide.

"If President Obama is to be a true Nobel Peace Laureate he must reverse the United States current blocking role in the climate negotiations to secure a fair, ambitious and binding deal for the climate this December. He must use his power to avert future climate conflicts and chaos.

 "In accepting the award in Oslo on December 10th, President Obama has an incredible opportunity, and responsibility, to then travel to the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit, which is happening at the same time, and help avert climate chaos and conflict." said Gerd Leipold, Greenpeace International Executive Director.

The announcement from the Nobel Committee comes as two weeks of UN climate talks in Bangkok limped to a close this week.  All eyes are on President Obama's administration to make the shift to the deep emissions cuts that the world has been wanting for decades.

"The US is trying to impose its own domestic limitations on the international community - limitations driven largely by the fossil fuel lobby.  It is climate science and the needs of the most vulnerable that should determine the Copenhagen outcome, not oil and coal companies and their allies in Congress," said Damon Moglen, Greenpeace USA Global Warming Director.

"The Nobel Prize speaks to the desire, the hope of people around the world who want our President to lead with vision and fairness.  In the next two months, President Obama must commit to ambitious action if he is to be the climate leader the world is waiting for."

Other contacts: Joe Smyth, Greenpeace USA Media Officer, 831-566-5647 Damon Moglen, Greenpeace USA Global Warming Campaign Director, 202-352-4223