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21 July 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
A “culture of cooperation” is needed to deal with the challenge of the scarcity of natural resources, according to former US president Bill Clinton.
Speaking at a conference in Oxford last week, Clinton said government policy needed to take a longer-term view when managing finite resources.
"Either we have a policy of shared benefits and responsibility. Or we act as though each struggle is a zero sum game. The only strategy that makes sense is the one that says we are going to share the world with other human beings and we will share its natural resources,” he told delegates at the Re|Source 2012 event last week.
He added using resources more efficiently and renewable technologies would be key to driving economic growth in future, as opposed to solely relying on the use of natural resources.
Clinton’s main recommendations were to increase the use of alternative energy sources, such as solar power, and to tackle rapidly dispersing greenhouse gases such as methane. “We need a different level of consciousness which weighs in a different way the competing claims of the common good and private gain,” he said.
The event was a joint initiative hosted by the University of Oxford and its Smith School of Enterprise and Environment and The Rothschild Foundation.