Updating in progress.
Press conference after Plenary Session. Have just learned that Cash for Clunkers started as a Clinton Global Initiative commitment last year.
About to be grilled by the press:
Vinita Bali, CEO and Managing Director, Britannia Industries, Ltd
Commitment: Securing Children's Rights to Growth and Development
Partners: Britannia Industries, GAIN Business Alliance
From PR release: “In 2007, Britannia Industries Limited partnered with the GAIN Business Alliance to develop vitamin and mineral-fortified products. Today, Britannia's products reach 40% of Indian households, helping to alleviate Iron deficiency among 180 million children.”
Bali talking now: In a school district in India, the only reason children came to school was for the free meals. Hemoglobin levels jumped in short time. All this for two cents a day.
School has 3000 students. Started by police officers who dealt with communities ravaged by drugs and dealing.
Next up: Jack Hidary, Chairman, SmartTransportation.org
Commitment: Cash for Clunkers – Accelerated Vehicle Recovery Program
Partners: Google.org, Auto Futures Group, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation
PR release: “Cash for Clunkers was launched as a commitment at last year’s CGI Annual Meeting and since then has been passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Jack Hidary will discuss the journey from commitment announcement to being splashed across the headlines.”
Hidray himself now: Helped to green NYC taxi fleet. 9 mpg to 30 mpg.
50 percent of foreign oil used in cars.
Cars 13 yrs or older responsible for 25 percent of miles driven, but 70 percent of toxic emissions.
Cash for Clunkers: 3 Billion dollars leveraged 23 billion out of consumers, 26 billion floods the economy.
Bill maybe coming out of the Senate. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, Chair, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, pushing Feebates: Fees for cars that get bad mileage; rebates for cars that get great mileage.
Idea for Cash for Clunkers came from memories of going with his grandparents when he was a kid to trade in old air conditioners and old refrigerator at stores that offered rebates and discounts. Irony is that the Obama Administration has introduced a cash for clunkers program for appliances.
“Go home and change your lightbulbs, the world is melting.” Solutions offered so small. Cars are big things. People can feel they’re making a contribution. See it.
“How are people going to know about this program?” Hidray’s reply, “We’re going through car dealers.” Dealers will make sure people know. Clunkers hanging from cranes out in front of dealerships.
Moving on now. President Clinton himself moderating a special session on Northern Ireland. Idea is to attract American investment. Economic progress and opportunities to invest aren’t the first things that come to mind when you mention Northern Ireland. Things have changed there, says Bill. Northern Ireland now a model other troubled areas can look to. People should be interested in transplanting the process of peace and reconciliation, overcoming the constant interruptions by “irritants”---nice euphemism there, Mr President, considering who’s on the panel with you.
Who is on the panel with him. Declan Kelly, the US economic envoy to Northern Ireland, for one. Northern Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward, Michéal Martin, Minster of Foreign Affairs, from the Republic of Ireland---Ireland Ireland---and the First and Deputy First Ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.
Robinson noted that as recently as two and a half years ago, you wouldn’t have found McGuinness and himself sitting side by side. “Two and a half years ago, Martin McGuinness and I had never spoken one word to each other.”
Political differences doesn’t begin to describe it. Robinson’s DUP. McGuinness is Sein Finn.
Not an easy thing, the DUP and Sinn Finn being in the Government together. But there’s nowhere else for either to go. “The war’s over,” says McGuinness. The people want peace, stability, economic progress.
No more ourselves alone.
Credit to President Clinton for “your courageous decision” to let Gerry Adams come speak in the U.S. Not said, that granted some legitimacy to Sinn Finn as political party. At the time few saw much distinction between Sinn Finn and the IRA. Clinton also praised for helping with the Good Friday accords.
By the way, are conservatives ever right? Here’s R. Emmett Tyrell writing in the American Spectator in 1994 that Gerry Adams visit won’t further peace.
More to come. Mostly links though, I suspect.