Talk Stipulates Climate Initiatives

Sara Greenbaum—the Clinton Climate Initiative’s chief strategy officer—outlined her organization’s work over the past three years at a talk yesterday, while acknowledging that combatting climate change will require more efforts to come.

Greenbaum acknowledged that the group “threw a lot of balls in the air three years ago” and is now evaluating which projects have been the most successful in implementing significant change.

She outlined three major prongs of their effort—increasing urban energy efficiency, augmenting the clean energy supply, and curbing deforestation.

She said that unlike other environmental groups, which focus on issues such as education and advocacy, the Clinton Climate Initiative aims to bring together different stakeholders—such as businesses and technological innovators—to form partnerships and develop strategies to engage and mobilize governments.

“We are basically the dealmakers,” Greenbaum said at the Boylston Hall talk.


Gabriel J. Daly ’10—co-president of the Harvard College Council on Business and the Environment, which organized the talk, and an inactive Crimson News writer—said that the Clinton Climate Initiative has been “uniquely innovative in trying to be technologically agnostic”—that is, by not dogmatically viewing one form of technology as the sole solution to climate change.

Greenbaum highlighted the Clinton Climate Initiative’s work on a large waste project in Delhi as an example of the group carrying out a technology analysis, coming up with a business plan, and bringing in different “operators” and technology suppliers to implement their plan.

“Has the broad global focus of the initiative improved or made more difficult the efficacy of the issue?” Daly asked in a question and answer session after the talk, referring to the large range of projects that the Clinton Climate Initiative is involved in.

Acknowledging the difficulty of standardizing projects, Greenbaum said that the Initiative is now trying to develop frameworks that will be more replicable across the world.