The Clinton Global Initiative 2009: The Week's Green Highlights


Photo via CGI

Once every year, the Clinton Global Initiative gathers world leaders, CEOs, celebrities, nonprofit groups, and, yes, journalists in Manhattan to address the world's most pressing problems. I reported on the events all week, and there were a slew of compelling discussions, announcements, and breaking news involving the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Kofi Annan, Al Gore, and of course, the former president. Here are some of the week's highlights.I started off the week by attending a roundtable discussion with Bill Clinton and a dozen or so other bloggers. Clinton discussed climate change at length, and stressed the need to put a price on carbon to stimulate a clean energy economy--and how we need to get rid of the "huge myth" that climate legislation will hinder the economy and lose jobs.

The opening session for the Clinton Global Initiative was a lively affair, and climate issues again came to the fore, with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all taking on climate change.

Al Gore revealed the innovation he'd most like to see next.

Kofi Annan discussed why he's skeptical about electric cars--even as the CEO of Nissan said it's time to abandoned gasoline powered cars altogether. In the same panel, GE's CEO said the US must put a price on carbon to succeed.

Obama's Deputy Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Dept. discussed the administration's exciting plans for creating sustainable infrastructure in the US.


Brad Pitt showcased the progress his foundation, Make It Right, had made in building high quality, affordable green houses for residents who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina.

Finally, the week came to a close when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the Obama administration was unveiling a plan to promote global food security.

It was a packed week, and a fascinating look into the dynamics of change in a world that happens to be facing some pretty serious crises. Here's the list of commitments that governments, corporations, and nonprofits made to help better it:

  • 79 million people will generate sustainable income through self-employment or new job opportunities.
  • $5.4 billion will be invested in or loaned to small- and medium-sized enterprises
  • 25.4 million people will have improved access to capital and financial services.
  • 3.5 million small farmers will gain access to inputs, supports, and markets.
  • 7 million women and girls will be reached through empowerment initiatives.
  • 30 million children will gain access to education.
  • 2 million girls will be reached through school enrollment efforts.
  • 30 million metric tons of CO2 emissions will be cut
  • 7 million people will be reached with clean energy.
  • 1.5 million people will be engaged in efforts to promote climate change solutions.
  • 83 million people will have increased access to health services.
  • 17 million people will have increased access to maternal-child health and survival programs.
  • 4.7 million children will benefit from malnutrition interventions.
  • 40 million people will receive treatment for neglected tropical diseases.
  • $50 million will be raised to fund research and development of new vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics.
  • 18 million people will have increased access to safe drinking water.
More on Past Clinton Global Initiatives Reporting Live from the Clinton Global Initiative Clinton Global Initiative 2007: Overall Impact Clinton Global Initiative: September 20-22, 2006

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