Campus & Community

HMS center honors Al Gore for environmental work

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Recognized by HMS’s Center for Health and the Global Environment for his work on global warming

Former Vice President Al Gore was recently chosen as the recipient of the 2005 Global Environmental Citizen Award by the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Actress and center board member Meryl Streep presented Gore with the award at an Oct. 21 ceremony in New York City.

“Al Gore’s dedication to the environment has never wavered,” said Eric Chivian, the director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment. “He is one of our nation’s most knowledgeable and passionate communicators about the urgent need to address global climate change.”

Gore’s commitment to the environment, and particularly global warming, is demonstrated through his pioneering efforts to protect and preserve the earth’s natural resources since his days in the House of Representatives. His efforts span nearly three decades and address the need for both public and policy action.

“Time and again, Al Gore has taken a stand for the environment,” said Streep. “He has never shied away from fighting to preserve it, for the sake of our own well-being, and that of future generations.”

While vice president, Gore was responsible for a number of environmental initiatives. He worked with President Clinton and the Big Three automakers to begin research and development on alternate fuel and hybrid vehicles. He worked to combat global warming in a way that also creates new jobs, and was a central figure at the 1997 Climate Change Summit in Kyoto, Japan.

His pioneering efforts to protect the earth’s ozone layer and to clean up toxic-waste dumps were outlined in his best-selling book, “Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit.” Today, Gore is chairman of Generation Investment Management, a new London-based fund management firm that plans to create environment-friendly portfolios. In addition, he makes frequent speeches on climate change to policymakers, business leaders, and public audiences around the world.

“It is an honor to receive this award from the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School,” said Gore. “The center has led the way in providing critical evidence about how global environmental change threatens our health and the health of our children,” he said.

“It is now time for all of us to rise to the occasion of addressing global warming,” Gore added. “The warnings have been given clearly, and the time to act is now. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

The Global Environmental Citizen Award is presented annually by the Center for Health and the Global Environment to the citizen who does outstanding work toward protecting the global environment. The event featured eco-friendly fashion made from sustainable material by designer Linda Loudermilk, and local and environmentally sustainable food from award-winning master chefs Peter Hoffman, Michel Nischan, and Nora Pouillon.

Based at HMS, the Center for Health and the Global Environment strives to draw attention to the connection between our health and future generation’s health and the state of the environment. The center aims to stress the importance of protecting and preserving the environment.