Former US vice-president, Apple board member and environmental crusader, Al Gore, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Gore shares the prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Both recipients receive the award in recognition for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

"Indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds," the Norwegian Nobel Committee explains.

"Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states," the Committee adds.

Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians. He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in 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," the Nobel Committee said.

"Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control," the organisation stressed.