On the first day of the seventh annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting, former President Bill Clinton announced nearly two hundred commitments valued at approximately $6.2 billion. The commitments are expected to benefit more than 100 million people when fully funded.
Commitments announced on day one include $1 billion from Inerjys Ventures to help portfolio companies sell their renewable energy innovations globally over the next seven years and $300 million from Toronto-based Dundee Realty Management Corporation for investments in wind, solar, and hydropower projects, with the goal of generating 150 megawatts of power for the Ontario grid and reducing the region's dependence on carbon-based fuels. New commitments also were announced by Enterprise EthioPEA, a public-private partnership launched by PepsiCo, the United Nations World Food Programme, and USAID to increase chickpea production and promote long-term nutritional and economic security in Ethiopia; the Relief and Development Accelerator Fund, a new matching fund created by Virginia-based Global Impact to provide $1.2 million annually to advance awareness of and giving to worldwide health programs; and Future Fortified, a campaign developed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition to help ensure that pregnant women, new mothers, and newborns receive the nutrients they need. In addition, Heifer International announced a commitment to help rebuild rural communities and improve economic opportunities in Haiti through its REACH (Rural Entrepreneurs for Agricultural Cooperation in Haiti) project.
More than 1,200 CGI members are expected to be in attendance for some or all of the three-day event; CGI counts among its members more than fifty heads of state, five hundred business leaders, and four hundred and fifty leaders of nongovernmental and philanthropic organizations. This year's event is focused on creative ways to address climate change and population growth, foster global job creation, promote sustainable lifestyles, and empower women and girls.
"Now more than ever, it is essential that governments, businesses, civil society, and the media work together to take action to generate more sustainable and equitable growth while preserving our global sustainability," said Clinton. "For seven years, CGI members have done just that. Their work has improved the lives of more than 300 million people around the world in substantive, measurable ways, and has reversed the cycles of environmental degradation and economic downturn."