Top Ten Sustainability Initiatives of Al Gore

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Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., more commonly known as Al Gore, was the 45th Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 under former President William “Bill” Clinton. While many know Al Gore for the 24 years he spent as an elected official, today he is more known for his work as an environmental activist. Al Gore has founded a number of non-governmental organizations based around the environment, and created the 2006 documentary film An Inconvenient Truth about the affects of global warming. For all his efforts, Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as an activist regarding climate change.

1 ) Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, Byers Climate Solutions Group. Al Gore heads the climate solutions group at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, Byers (KPCB), a premier venture capital firm located in Silicon Valley, California. The Wall Street Journal has listed it as the “largest and most established” firm in the globe. KPCB has been championing investment into the clean technology sector since 1999 and has actively invested in a number of ventures that have the potential to solve a variety of urgent challenges associated with the global climate crisis. The focus includes funding technologies that are related to renewable energy, clean water, sustainable agriculture, and next-generation transportation.

2 ) Al Gore Endorses a Green Bank Bill. In 2009, when testifying right before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Al Gore endorsed a new Green Bank Bill. First introduced by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), this bill would create a financial institution that is government-owned and would provide necessary support to qualified energy efficiency and clean energy projects.

3 ) Call to have all Energy in the United States made Renewable in Ten Years. In 2008, Al Gore decided to make the challenge to the United States to get the country to make a switch to completely renewable sources of energy in ten years time. He made the mention that the solution to the current climate crisis will also help in renewing the economy through the creation of more jobs, and it will provide an escape route for the United States when it comes to continually rising energy prices.

4 ) Global Marshall Plan. Al Gore created the Global Marshall Plan in his book “Earth in the Balance,” and provides specific ideas regarding how to save the current global environment. In his book, Gore states, “The model of the Marshall Plan can be of great help. For example, a Global Marshall Plan must focus on strategic goals and emphasize actions and programs that are likely to remove the bottlenecks presently inhibiting the healthy functioning of the global economy. The new global economy must be an inclusive system that does not leave entire regions behind. The new plan will require the wealthy nations to allocate money for transferring environmentally helpful technologies to the Third World and to help impoverished nations achieve a stable population and a new pattern of sustainable economic progress. To work, however, any such effort will also require wealthy nations to make a transition themselves that will be in some ways more wrenching than that of the Third World.” There are five strategic goals, stabilizing the global population, the quick development of technologies that are environmentally appropriate, a change in economic rules of the road in respect to the environment, new international agreements regarding the environment, and a plan to educate the world about the environment.

5 ) Supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Al Gore has been a huge supported of the Kyoto Protocol. This protocol was formed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is geared toward fighting the increase in global warming. This international environmental treaty has the goal of stabilizing the carbon dioxide emissions concentrations throughout the atmosphere to a level that would prevent the possibility of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the current climate system.

6 ) An Inconvenient Truth. An Inconvenient Truth is a book written by Al Gore in 2006. It is based on Gore’s lecture tour regarding the topic of global warming and further elaborates on a number of points regarding climate change. It was turned into a documentary film also in 2006 that followed Gore’s initiatives to educate the general public about climate change. The movie won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Both the book and the movie have been widely credited for increasing international public awareness in regards to the climate change and helped to reenergize the global environmental movement.

7 ) The Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition. The Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition is the very first and most prestigious clean technology and sustainably business plan competition in Asia. It was established in 2007 and looks to increase the generation of India’s engineering, technology, science, and management students to start thinking more sustainability and creating sustainable technology solutions that will provide a positive impact on the environment.

8 ) The Climate Reality Project. The Climate Reality Project was founded and chaired by Al Gore and currently has over five million members around the world. It is a nonprofit organization that remains dedicated to providing education to the global community in regards to the importance of the implementation of a comprehensive solution to the current climate crisis. The project emphasizes the requirement to bring together a very diverse range of organizations and individuals to strengthen the global network of people looking to take action when it comes to various climate issues.

9 ) Live Earth. Live Earth was established by Kevin Wall along with Al Gore and “built upon the belief that entertainment has the power to transcend social and cultural barriers to move the world community to action…Live Earth seeks to leverage the power of entertainment through integrated events, media, and the live experience to ignite a global movement aimed at solving the most critical environmental issues.” For example, on 07/07/07, Live Earth produced “Live Earth: the Concerts for a Climate in Crisis,” which was hosted on seven continents and broadcasted in 132 countries.

10 ) Generation Investment Management LLP. Generation Investment Management LLP is a private, independent owner-managed partnership that has offices in New York, New York, London, England, and Sydney Australia and focuses on environmental and social responsibility. It was co-founded in 2004 by Al Gore and David Blood. The mission of Generation Investment Management LLP is to “Deliver superior investment performance by taking a long term investment view and integrating sustainability research within a rigorous fundamental equity analysis framework; create long term client partnerships by delivering unique investment insights and exceptional client service; [and]attract, retain, and develop the best professionals within a passionate investment culture.”

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at shawn@watershedcapital.com.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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