COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, DECEMBER 10, 2009 — Friends of the Earth International members had the following statements prior to U.S. President Barack Obama’s December 10 acceptance of his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
STATEMENT OF FRIENDS OF THE EARTH-INTERNATIONAL CHAIR NNIMMO BASSEY, WHO HEADS ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTION IN NIGERIA
“President 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.
“President 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 treaty.
“President 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.
“President 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
“President 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 Copenhagen by urging the Obama administration to start supporting a truly fair and effective agreement — and to stop standing in the way.”