Immediate reaction to the awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize was overwhelmingly positive, said reports from Oslo on Friday.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced Friday that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to raise awareness of the threat of climate change.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called the award "well-deserved," and said he hoped it would be "an inspiration for everyone who works with climate challenges."
Stoltenberg said the UN's climate panel has provided important knowledge about climate change, based on comprehensive scientific facts. Al Gore, he said, has, "more than anyone else," created popular interest and engagement in climate questions.
"I have met both Al Gore and Dr. (Rajendra) Pachauri (head of the UN's climate panel) several times, and am impressed and grateful for the work they've done," Stoltenberg said to newspaper Aftenposten.
Norwegian politicians Borge Brende from the Conservatives and Heidi Sorensen from the Socialist Left nominated Gore for the Nobel Peace Prize, and were thrilled that he was named a winner.
"This is a very important decision for the world's climate and for the battle against emissions," Brende said, adding that he thinks the prize will raise pressure on international leaders to keep global climate changes in focus.
Sorensen said the prize stresses that climate isn't only an environmental issue, but a security and peace issue as well.
Environmental groups from Greenpeace to Bellona and Friends of the Earth were celebrating.
"This is wonderful," said Lars Haltbrekken of Norway's chapter of Friends of the Earth. "The Nobel Committee has focused on the biggest security threat to our civilization."
"This is fantastic," echoed Steinar Lem of The Future in Our Hands. "The Nobel Committee has never influenced the world situation like it has now."
Most observers said the prize will further boost Gore's prestige as an environmental activist, where he's particularly raised the climate change issue at home in the United States.
However, there were a few voices of discontent, curiously coming from both ends of the political spectrum in Norway.
The Progress Party, the country's most conservative, questioned giving the Peace Prize to Gore "because he made a climate film that is subjective, one-sided and full of undocumented claims."
The Red Party, Norway's most left-wing, was glad the UN climate panel won, but doesn't find Gore worthy of the prize.
"He has made an important contribution to calling the world's attention to climate challenges," conceded party leader Torstein Dahle. "But he's a controversial person when it comes to practicing what he preaches, and he hasn't made any great contribution to peace in the world."