Clinton and Schwarzenegger attend second world forum on sustainability

1 Apr 2011

Former US president Bill Clinton, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, filmmaker James Cameron, and Virgin Group president Richard Branson, along with specialists in sustainability, gathered at the second world forum on sustainability in Brazil to discuss the current obstacles that face social, economic and environmental sustainability.

At the event, which took place 24-26 March in Sao Paulo, Schwarzenegger discussed his green concepts, stating that environmentalism can generate economic growth. Along with Cameron, Schwarzenegger commended Brazil for its progress in the adoption of renewable energy sources. Cameron spoke about the significance of Brazil’s role in environmental solutions stating, “Economic development and preservation are bound together. One depends on the other.”

The director of Sustainability and Urban Regeneration for the 2012 London Olympics, Dan Epstein, shared his experience of planning the 2012 Olympic Games and announced he would like to help Brazil with preparations for the 2016 Olympics.

Branson highlighted the obstacles tackling global warming while working in an industry as polluting as civil aviation. “We must invest in research on fuels that pollute less, like Brazilian ethanol,” he stated.

Adam Werbach, environmentalist and author of Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto, which was published by Harvard Business Press, cited examples of innovations carried out by companies. Werbach believes sustainable companies will have better performance in coming years. This was also the opinion of environmentalist Paul Hawken, who urged the nation to invest in companies that help people and make a positive difference to the world.

On the last day, Clinton attributed a leadership role to Brazil in matters related to the environment. Clinton believes Brazil has positive characteristics that justify this leadership, such as the world’s largest tropical forest and the production of ethanol, which provides the country with security and world independence. “You produce more ethanol than any other place in the world except the United States, but Brazil is more efficient,” he concluded.