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Former Vice President Al Gore has announced plans to donate the money he will receive for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to charity.

Gore will receive half of the total $1.56 million prize money for the award, which he shared this year with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for his work to call attention to the threat of global warming, and will reinvest it into the cause that is closest to his heart.

“My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100% of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance For Climate Protection," said Gore in an email. “I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis, a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.”

Al Gore is the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize since former President Jimmy Carter. The prize is named after Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who established the award in his will. It has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, and for peace. Past winners include Mother Teresa in 1979, and Nelson Mandela in 1993.

Al Gore was born in Washington DC in 1948, the son of a US Representative and Senator. His early life was divided between life in the political capital of the United States and the family farm in Tennessee. In the 1970s, he served as a military journalist in Vietnam. 1993 saw Gore become the 45th Vice President of the United States, a position he held under President Bill Clinton until 2001. He narrowly missed out being voted into the Presidency himself in 2000.

In 2006, Gore presented a film called “An Inconvenient Truth”, directed by Davis Guggenheim, which publicized the facts behind climate change. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, and is now the fourth highest grossing documentary film in US history. The companion book to the film, penned by Gore, has been on the New York Times best seller list since June, 2006. His status as an environmental warrior was boosted in July, 2007, when he organized the worldwide Live Earth concerts. His latest book, “The Assault on Reason”, debuted at the top of the New York Times best seller list when it was released in May of this year, and in September his interactive cable network, Current TV, won an Emmy. He is also founder and chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, which he describes as “a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the US and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.”

“Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world’s leading environmental politicians,” said the Nobel Committee who awarded the prize. “His strong commitment, reflected in his political activity, lectures, films, and books has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.”

But has the award changed the man at all?

“I’m going back to work right now,” answered Gore. “This is just the beginning.”

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