Environment Forum

A green Nobel Peace Prize next week? Or one too many?

Will the guardians of the Nobel Peace Prize make another green award in 2009 to encourage sluggish talks on new U.N. climate treaty due to be agreed in Copenhagen?

Or is it too early after environmental prizes in both 2004 and 2007?

The five-member Nobel panel likes to make topical awards to try to influence the world – a prize announcement on Oct. 9 linked to climate change could hardly be better timed since 190 nations will meet in Copenhagen in December to agree a new pact for fighting global warming.

And the Nobel prize will be formally handed over at a ceremony in Oslo on Dec. 10 — the anniversary of the death of founder Alfred Nobel – giving any winner a global loudspeaker during the the Dec. 7-18 meeting in Copenhagen.

But any would-be green laureate has a big problem — former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore and the U.N. Climate Panel shared the 2007 prize and Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai won in 2004 for her campaign to plant trees across Africa.

Three prizes so fast might well be one too many.

Bookmakers don’t rate green candidates very highly this year – one has Chinese dissident Hu Jia at 5-1 followed by Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at 11/2. Greenpeace is an outsider at 40/1.

from Summit Notebook:

U.N. climate deal in Copenhagen, or København?

A new U.N. deal to step up the fight against climate change is to be agreed this December in the Danish capital 'Copenhagen', or should that be 'København'?

British and American English speakers often differ about whether to pronounce it "Copen'hay'gen" or "Copen'haa'gen". And interviews for the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy summit this week are bringing varieties in between.

But what do Danes reckon? I called up an expert:

"We'd normally say "Copen'hay'gen in English," said Ida Ebbensgaard," spokeswoman for Danish Environment Minister Connie Hedegaard who will host the Dec. 7-18 meeting.

from UK News:

‘Green’ expert sees red over UK climate pledges

Professor Sir David King, the British government's former top scientific adviser, is no stranger to controversy.


He ruffled feathers on both sides of the Atlantic in 2004 when he described climate change as a more serious threat to the world than terrorism.


Earlier this year, he said the Iraq war may come to be seen as the world first’s “resource war”, based on oil rather than weapons of mass destruction.

from Davos Notebook:

A climate deal: easier than trade?

Conventional wisdom has it that if the leaders of the world can't agree on a round of negotiations to liberalise world trade then there's no chance they will agree on measures to tackle climate change.

After all, a pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions will involve re-tooling vast swathes of industry and impact the way companies do business from Boston to Beijing.

But is that view right? British economist Nicholas Stern - author of a seminal report in 2006 on the economic fallout of global warming - thinks not.

The “Copenhagen Protocol” on global warming?

Red paint is seen on The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen May 15, 2007. The statue was damaged by vandalsWhat’s in a name? 

Will the next international deal for combating climate change be called the “Copenhagen Protocol”, consigning the “Kyoto Protocol” to history?

Who would want the name of their favourite city linked to a treaty about global warming? It may be a momentous step towards a clean energy future but, if Kyoto is anything to go by, will also be hated by many. The poor “Little Mermaid” statue in Copenhagen harbour already suffers enough from protests, like red paint thrown by vandals last year (right).

A new U.N. pact for fighting global warming is meant to be agreed at the end of 2009 at a conference in the Danish capital and, by normal international practice, it would then be called the “Copenhagen Protocol”.