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It’s Not Easy Being a Green Fund

One year later, Clinton’s big initiative has wilted.

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Bill Clinton’s annual summits are all about getting commitments from big shots to pledge their millions toward making the world a better place. But following through on those commitments can be a different story. At last year’s Clinton Global Initiative conference, the former president announced that he was launching the Green Fund, an investment vehicle that would pump $1 billion into the country’s renewable-energy industry. It had an all-star roster of investors: former World Bank president James Wolfensohn, who was going to manage it; eco-friendly venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Kholsa; producer and real-estate heir Steve Bing; and supermarket magnate Ron Burkle. What happened? Nothing, in the end. “President Clinton is firmly committed to green and clean energy and investment as both good policy and a boon for the American economy; however, this fund never came to fruition,” says spokesman Jay Carson. The 2007 meeting starts Wednesday.

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