President Obama Must Earn Nobel Peace Prize With Strong Climate Action in Copenhagen

Media release - December 10, 2009
Greenpeace today congratulated US President Barack Obama on winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize and urged him to use the award's prestige to help secure an ambitious, fair, and legally binding treaty at the UN Climate Summit when he travels to Copenhagen next week.

"The impact climate change will have on resource availability and human migration looms as one of the biggest threats to peace around the world. We urge President Obama to act in the spirit of this most prestigious award and move boldly to stop catastrophic climate change. He has been given this award partly for his stance on climate - but now he has to come to Copenhagen and earn it," said Kumi Naidoo, the Executive Director of Greenpeace International.

Across Oslo, from the airport to city hall and on board the Rainbow Warrior moored in the harbour, Greenpeace is sending a message to the president calling for stronger climate leadership, with banners, placards and posters saying: "YOU WON IT, NOW EARN IT".

In his acceptance speech Obama said that action to save the climate was essential to promote peace, disappointingly the President focused most of his comments on the justifications for war, only allocating one paragraph to the challenges of climate change.  He closed by calling on people to "reach for the world that ought to be." Next week in Copenhagen he has a chance to realize the aspirations of these words.

To date, the US has only agreed to a provisional goal of cutting greenhouse pollution by 4 percent below 1990 levels. This offer falls dangerously short of the necessary 25-40 percent cut identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of scientists who won the Noble Prize for their work on the issue in 2007.

"We have the technology, the money, and the moral imperative to do this. All we lack is the political will. President Obama ran for office with the slogan 'Yes We Can'. We can and we must, Mr. President. Now is the time for action."

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Other contacts: In Oslo Bente Myhre Haast, Greenpeace communications Nordic +47 48297274 Mike Crocker, Greenpeace communications +1 202 215 8989 In Copenhagen Cindy Baxter, Greenpeace communications +45 526 556 22; +31 646 197 332 Stephanie Tunmore, Greenpeace communications +45 526 556 70; +44 7796 947 451 In Washington DC Joe Smyth, Greenpeace USA communications 831 566 5647

Notes: Greenpeace's key briefing on the possibilities for a strong Copenhagen deal: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/success-or-failure-in-copenhagen All Greenpeace briefings here: http://www.greenpeace.org/climatepolicy Greenpeace calls on the Copenhagen Climate Summit to agree a multilateral legally binding deal, which includes: -Emissions cuts of 40% by 2020 by industrialized countries (at 1990 levels) -USD 140 billion a year from the industrialized world for developing countries to deal with climate impacts, act on climate change and stop deforestation -An end of tropical deforestation by 2020. -Developing countries must reduce their projected emissions growth by 15-30% by 2020, with support from industrialized countries.