updated 9/22/2006 3:17:18 PM ET 2006-09-22T19:17:18

Former President Clinton announced the launch of an investment fund expected to raise more than $1 billion for renewable energy on Friday, the final day of his global issues conference.

The Green Fund would focus on reducing dependence on fossil fuels, creating jobs, lessening pollution and helping to reduce global warming, all while making a profit, Clinton said.

The announcement at the Global Initiative Conference came a day after British business mogul Richard Branson pledged $3 billion to battle global warming,

“The earth is warming at an alarming rate, we are running out of fossil fuels, and it is long past time for us to take action to correct these problems,” Clinton said in a statement.

The fund’s launch was announced by Clinton, former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, Yucaipa Companies founder Ron Burkle and business leader and philanthropist Steve Bing. Wolfensohn will serve as the fund’s managing director.

The three-day initiative, which debuted last year, is an annual gathering of business, political and nonprofit leaders that requires participants to make financial or other commitments to help solve global problems. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the wife of the former president and a potential 2008 presidential candidate, attended Friday’s session.

Some 150 other commitments amounting to nearly $3 billion also were promised to tackle causes ranging from improving health care in rural China to promoting environmental maintenance in the South Bronx.

The 2005 conference resulted in $2.5 billion in commitments, less than half of the nearly $6 billion pledged so far this year.

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