Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to build up and disseminate knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for fighting it.

Gore, who won an Academy Award earlier this year for his film "An Inconvenient Truth," had been widely tipped to win the prize but he and the agency will share the prestigious prize.

"His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change," the citation said. "He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

It said that Gore "has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians" and cited his awareness at an early stage "of the climatic challenges the world is facing.

The committee cited the IPCC for its two decades of scientific reports that have "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming."

It went on to say that because of its efforts global warming has been increasingly recognized. In the 1980s it "seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent."

This year, climate change has been at the top of the world agenda. The U.N. climate panel has been releasing its reports, talks on a replacement for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate are set to resume, and on Europe's northern fringe, where the awards committee works, concern about the melting Arctic has been underscored by this being the International Polar Year.

In recent years, the Norwegian committee has broadened its interpretation of peacemaking and disarmament efforts outlined by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in creating the prize with his 1895 will. The prize now often also recognizes human rights, democracy, elimination of poverty, sharing resources and the environment.

Two of the past three prizes have been untraditional, with the 2004 award to Kenya environmentalist Wangari Maathai and last year's award to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank.