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President Clinton Underscores Importance of 'Designing Our Environment'
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President Clinton Underscores Importance of 'Designing Our Environment'

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During the second day of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, President Bill Clinton announced new commitments made by CGI members this year designed to combat some of the most pressing global challenges. From improving the monitoring and warning of severe weather in Haiti to addressing the problem of under-nutrition in Guatemala, the new CGI commitments unveiled aim to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

“I am inspired by the dedication and generosity of our CGI members whose commitments touch the lives of millions of people around the world,” said President Clinton. “This year’s commitments represent not only a deep respect for humanity but also inspire others to transform their ideas and innovation into substantive global action. I extend my sincerest thanks to all of the leaders from the political, business, and civil sectors for their willingness to choose to create a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive world for all people.”

The day’s theme, “Designing Our Environments,” highlighted the need to produce holistic approaches for built and natural environments in order to provide healthy sustainable settings worldwide. Over the course of the meeting’s second day, CGI members heard from an array of global leaders on the importance of fostering prosperous futures for generations to come through investment in ecosystems, urban centers, and social environments.

Featured speakers included Laurent Lamothe, Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti, Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, U.S. State Department, Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation, Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State and Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, Dr. Paul Farmer, Founder of Partners In Health, Randa Grob-Zakhary, CEO of the LEGO Foundation, Nicholas Kristof, Columnist for the New York Times, Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, and Fareed Zakaria, CNN Anchor.

The 2012 CGI Annual Meeting is sponsored by Abraaj Capital, American Federation of Teachers, Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos, APCO Worldwide, Barclays, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cisco, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Delos Living, Deutsche Bank, Diageo PLC, The Dow Chemical Company, Duke Energy Corporation, ExxonMobil, The Ford Foundation, Varkey GEMS Foundation, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, Hewlett Packard Company, Inter-American Development Bank, InterEnergy, Jive Software, Knoll Inc, Laureate International Universities, Microsoft Corporation, NRG Energy Inc, Procter & Gamble, The Rockefeller Foundation, Shangri-La Industries, Standard Chartered Bank, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Swiss Reinsurance Company, Tom Golisano, Toyota Motors Corporation, United Postcode Lotteries, The Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and Western Union Financial Services Inc..

The following new commitments were announced:

Where We Learn Matters: Transforming Schools via Green Apple
Commitment by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing and U.S. Green Building Council
In 2012, the Center for Green Schools (the Center) at the U.S. Green Building Council and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), in partnership with United Technology Corporation, committed to launch the Green Apple Initiative. The Green Apple Initiative (Green Apple) is a public awareness campaign with the goal of informing parents, teachers, students, and communities in the United States and around the world that physical spaces matter when it comes to learning and that student experiences are enhanced when educated in healthy, safe, and efficient places. In addition to implementing this project through large scale events, grassroots activities, corporate and NGO partnerships, celebrity ambassadors, school curriculum, and social media and media outreach, the Center will also launch an annual Green Apple Day of Service, where 2,500 volunteer-driven school improvement projects will take place across the world.

Bringing Vertical Gyms to Cities Around the World
Commitment by: Urban-Think Tank
In 2012, Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) committed to scaling the construction and deployment of their Vertical Gym prototype to megacities throughout the world beginning in São Paulo, Brazil. U-TT will work with community partners, local leaders, and businesses to select a site and coordinate the development and construction of the Vertical Gym in São Paulo and look to identify similar partnerships in other cities. In addition to providing a space safe for social interaction and exercise in dense urban areas, the Vertical Gym will provide educational, employment, and volunteer opportunities for the community.

Anam New City: An African Model For Sustainable Development
Commitment by: Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation
In 2012, the Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation (the Foundation) committed to scale up its model of sustainable development by making affordable green housing, off-grid infrastructure, health services, and skills training accessible to 1,000 Nigerians in Anambra State over four years. The Foundation will also develop key pilot projects, including an earth brick factory, an ecological fish farm, a school, a hospital, and a community bank, as well as educational and employment programs, which will target 25 percent female enrollment. Using the experience and knowledge of interdisciplinary teams of specialists from Africa, Europe, and the United States, the Foundation seeks to address the stressing conditions of urbanization in Nigeria through a replicable model that will improve the quality of life through integrated and planned approaches.

Community-Based Solar Power
Commitment by: Solairedirect
In 2012, Solairedirect committed to develop at least 10 megawatts of distributed solar photovoltaic projects in the southwestern United States over the next three years. Solairedirect will identify target communities seeking access to reliable and affordable electricity and will work in conjunction with local government and community stakeholders to develop these projects. Through this commitment, Solairedirect will demonstrate the financial and operational viability of subsidy free, community-based, for-profit solar power generation in the United States.

Minutes Matter: Warning Haitians to Extreme Weather
Commitment by: Earth Networks
In 2012, Earth Networks committed to a two-phase commitment to improve monitoring and warning of severe weather in Haiti. In the first phase, Earth Networks will deploy the necessary infrastructure and hardware, including Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts, the most advanced hurricane tracking and monitoring tool, and PulseRad, a groundbreaking alternative to expensive Doppler radar. The organization will work with partners to put systems in place to disseminate information via SMS and other outlets, enabling the population to be better prepared for extreme weather improve their resilience against future natural disasters.

Scaling the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2013
Commitment by: United Postcode Lotteries
In 2012, United Postcode Lotteries committed to scale up their green business competition, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, in order to spur innovation in the area of sustainability. By increasing the amount of entries, the quality and countries of origin, United Postcode Lotteries aim to speed up the development of new, innovative green businesses around the globe to tackle the challenges of climate change.

A Healthy Start for Children: Scaling Up Nutrition
Commitment by: Republic of Guatemala
In 2012, the WFP-USA committed to facilitate an effort led by the government of Guatemala and supported by a group of private sector and international donors to address under-nutrition in Guatemala, which currently suffers from the highest rate of child malnutrition in Latin America. Through this commitment, Guatemala will achieve national coverage of the 13 critical interventions identified in the internationally recognized Scaling Up Nutrition framework, including behavior change, micronutrient supplementation and deworming, and complementary and therapeutic feeding programs.

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