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CGI Members Fight For Strong Climate Policy In Copenhagen

As the United Nations conference on climate change opened in Copenhagen on Monday, Dec. 7, representatives of 192 nations came together in the hopes of negotiating a pact to reduce emissions. It’s a colossal task, and Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) members are stepping up to help.
by Clinton Global Initiative Posted on Dec 11, 2009

As the United Nations conference on climate change opened in Copenhagen on Monday, Dec. 7, representatives of 192 nations came together in the hopes of negotiating a pact to reduce emissions. It’s a colossal task, and Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) members are stepping up to help.

Ceres, a non-profit based in Boston, is bringing a large delegation of corporations – including Nike, Symantec, Timberland, and Life Technologies – to Copenhagen to make the case for strong climate and energy policy. Ceres is hosting a panel discussion on Saturday, Dec. 12, to discuss the actions that corporations have already taken to address global warming. The effort is part of Ceres’ 2009 CGI commitment, which aims to recruit business leaders for the fight against climate change.

Many of CGI’s members are actively working to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. At the transportation showcase “Driving the Future,” CGI member Solazyme will be offering journalists and delegates rides in a Mercedes E Class Sedan fueled by 100 percent Soladiesel – renewable fuel derived from algae. In its 2009 commitment, Solazyme pledged to work toward commercialization of its biofuels, and the company recently topped Biofuels’ Digest’s list of the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy.

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is also addressing climate change issues from a corporate perspective. For its 2009 commitment, the nonprofit is working with corporate partners, including CGI member Microsoft, to update its corporate emissions databank. CDP already collects emissions information from 82 percent of the world’s largest corporations, and 66 percent of S&P 500 companies. Starting in 2010, that information will be much more detailed.

In Copenhagen, CDP is hosting a panel discussion at the Crown Plaza Hotel at 1 p.m. on December 15th. The event will feature high-level speakers from PricewaterhouseCoopers, IHS CERA, Accenture, the Chicago Climate Exchange, and AEA Technology, who will discuss climate change reporting regulations around the world.

The Global Observatory – a new organization launched at CGI’s 2009 Annual Meeting– will be publishing daily news stories and hosting panel discussions in Copenhagen. Aimee Christensen, CEO of Christensen Global Strategies, and former Costa Rican president Jose Maria Figueres, founded the organization, which aims to help journalists and the public understand the summit’s events. The Global Observatory will also be setting up media interviews for its “Ambassadors,” including Figueres, Desmond Tutu, Richard Branson, Jeremy Legget, Ashok Khosla, and other notable figures.

Young people all over are becoming leaders in the environmental movement, and some of them will be in Copenhagen to ensure that youth voices are heard. Focus the Nation, a Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit, committed at CGI University’s 2009 meeting to provide fellowships for young people working on innovative clean energy solutions. The two winners were announced in August. Jeremy Smith is launching a bike cooperative in a tiny, coal-dependent town in South Dakota, and Amanda Hass is providing support to young Navajo leaders fighting the construction of a coal plant on their land.

Now, the two fellowship winners are traveling to Copenhagen. There, they will lobby State Department officials and form a “rapid response team.” As events unfold, Hass, Smith, and other young delegates will get in touch with student and youth groups in the U.S., so those groups can produce press materials, coordinate grassroots events at home, and contact their elected representatives.

For more information on CGI members who will be participating in the Copenhagen conference, please email press@clintonglobalinitiative.org.

Read the post at Clinton Global Initiative

Meet the Expert

Sharlene Leurig

Sharlene directs the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Program at Ceres, a national nonprofit helping institutional investors to integrate sustainability into the capital markets. With Ceres, she works with water service providers to build business models that are resilient to weather extremes, climate change and resource depletion.

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