The Nobel Peace Prize came as a surprise to the head of the UN committee that shared the award with Al Gore, who seized the opportunity to share the panel's mission: "To tell the world we need to do something about climate change urgently." Rajendra Pachauri deflected praise to his fellow scientists, saying he is "just a symbol," the BBC reports.
Pachauri also lauded co-winner Al Gore: "The amount of effort he has put into creating awareness about climate change has had a major impact." Gore initially criticized Pachauri's 2002 nomination to the panel, calling him the "let's drag our feet candidate," but the two have reconciled. "I'll be your follower," Pachauri told Gore after the prize announcement today, "and you'll be my leader."