For Immediate Release
Nick Berning, +45 30 48 31 73 (Denmark)
Kelly Trout, +1 202 222 0722 (United States)
Obama to Receive Prize Based on Promise He Has Failed to Keep
COPENHAGEN - Friends of the Earth members had the following statements prior to U.S.
President Barack Obama's December 10 acceptance of his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH-INTERNATIONAL CHAIR NNIMMO BASSEY, WHO HEADS ENVIRONMENTAL
RIGHTS ACTION IN NIGERIA:
Obama has been rewarded the Nobel Prize in large part due to his vision for a
better future and his ability to inspire hope that bold
change is possible. We congratulate him on this honor, but he has not kept true
to the vision he articulated during his campaign.
Obama pledged to solve climate change, but the United States is now playing a
harmful role on the global stage. At climate negotiations in Copenhagen, U.S.
delegates are working to undermine existing agreements and shirk their
country's responsibilities as the world's largest historical polluter. They are
working to protect the interests of rich nations that caused the climate
crisis, instead of heeding developing countries' call for a strong and fair
Obama's legacy will not be determined by an award; it will be determined by his
accomplishments. We urge President Obama to find in his award the inspiration
necessary to re-think his administration's approach. He must commit the United States
to partner with the world's poorest nations to solve climate change in a
just and equitable way, with far larger emissions reductions and much more
money on the table than he is currently proposing."
STATEMENT OF ERICH PICA, PRESIDENT OF FRIENDS OF THE EARTH U.S.:
Obama is doing a better job than his predecessor, but this does not mean he
should receive a Nobel Prize. Indeed, he is holding the world back from solving
the climate crisis -- the most pressing global challenge of our time. We
welcome many of the steps our president has taken to promote clean energy,
including making job-creating investments in clean technology and moving to
implement to the Clean Air Act after
years of Bush administration delay. But the fact remains, we cannot solve
global warming without a strong and just global agreement, and President Obama
has thus far refused to partner with developing countries in a way that could
make such an agreement possible."
STATEMENT OF LARS HALTBREKKEN, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH NORWAY:
Obama comes to Norway
to receive his Nobel Prize even though he has failed to show the leadership on
climate change that should be expected of a Nobel Prize recipient. This
provides an opportunity to Norweigan Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. He can
use the Nobel Prize Ceremony to make a profound impact on the climate summit in
urging the Obama administration to start supporting a truly fair and effective
agreement -- and to stop standing in the way."
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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.