Al Gore

The U.S. Green Building Council kicked off Greenbuild 2009 on Wednesday, Nov. 11, in Phoenix, with a keynote address by Al Gore and concert by Sheryl Crow. The festivities began Wednesday night at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in front of an audience of more than 28,000. Greenbuild runs through today, Nov. 13.

“We have the power to make choices that will fundamentally change the environment, and people’s lives, for the better,” said USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi in his opening remarks. “And no one has more power to drive that change than those of us here tonight in Diamondback Stadium.”  

“Our work should not be defined solely by the number of LEED certified homes, offices, schools and neighborhoods,” he noted. “It is about the people inside of them.”  

During his presentation, the Honorable Al Gore called on the audience to make the choices required to ensure we leave a better earth for our children. He is well known for his best-selling book and Academy Award-winning documentaryAn Inconvenient Truth.In 2007, Gore was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for his environmental activism.

The opening festivities closed with a performance by Sheryl Crow. “Performing at Greenbuild is like being on the international stage of the green movement, celebrating with you the progress we’re making on this important issue,” Crow said during the event.

Archived video footage from the Greenbuild Opening Keynote & Celebration can be viewed The closing plenary session, set for today, will feature a keynote address by Carol Browner, assistant to President Obama for Energy and Climate Change. It will also be available for viewing on the website.