Wise at last?

Published: Monday 31 October 2005

-- (Credit: Clinton Global Initiative)Clinton Global Initiative USA

Simultaneous with the dry congratulations -- and condemnations -- that marked the un's 60th anniversary summit in mid-September, a frenetic sideline workshop organised by former us president Bill Clinton delivered more excitement and firm commitments. Many of the world's biggest names in politics, academics, business and philanthropy gathered in New York for the first annual Clinton Global Initiative to discuss "action-oriented solutions" in four problem areas: poverty, religion, governance and global climate change. While his terms in office weren't known for their environmentalist zeal, attendees noted that the out-of-office, older-and-wiser Clinton has since become "dazzlingly well-versed" on this last issue.

During the course of what media reports described as a "four-ring circus", the meet's top-of-the-top roster pooled more than us$1.25 billion. Climate change proved to be one of the most highly anticipated issues: one European company alone pledged more than us $300 million for a clean energy project.

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