04_Bill Clinton

Climate Change Agent

Global warming is good—for business, at least. And Bill Clinton, who helped write the ill-fated 1997 Kyoto Protocol to fight climate change, is using his postpresidential clout to point the way. In December, Clinton raised the Bush administration's hackles by insisting at the UN climate conference in Montreal that switching to cleaner technologies would "strengthen, not weaken, our economy." Then he listed a variety of examples, from improving the energy efficiency of power plants to switching to biofuels. It's all part of Clinton's slick new plan: At an earlier Manhattan meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, he had extracted commitments to sponsor and fund more than 200 separate projects, worth nearly $2 billion, from a guest list that included the CEOs of GE, Sony, Time Warner, Swiss Re, Goldman Sachs, and Starbucks; the presidents of South Africa, Ukraine, Nigeria, and the Dominican Republic; and a handful of Nobel laureates. The projects included sustainable transportation in Brazil, biodiesel-powered school buses in the United States, and greenhouse-gas reduction in Pennsylvania. If Clinton has the heart for it, a decade of this kind of stumping could actually do the world some good.

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