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.