Gisele Becomes UNEP Ambassador, Fight vs Global Warming now Hotter

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By Paul M. Banks

As the planet gets hotter, so do the people trying to do something about it. Gisele Bündchen, the wealthiest and perhaps most recognizable supermodel of all time, will be designated Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in New York City on Sunday, September 20th. According to Forbes, she’s the highest-paid model in the world and the sixteenth richest woman in entertainment, brandishing an estimated $150 million net worth.tom-brady-gisele

The woman nicknamed “the Boobs from Brazil” will soon become a face (and a very attractive one at that) of global environmental action. Gisele, together with UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, will hold a press event to announce her appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador in the fight against climate change at 11:00am Sunday in New York City’s Washington Square Park Fountain.

Obviously, Bundchen’s position is geared more towards image and public relations than policy advising, but what exactly are her green credentials?

Well, the wife of New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady promotes protecting the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and Amazon Rainforest water sources, donating to the cause a percentage of profits from her line of sandals named “Ipanema Gisele Bündchen.”

Bündchen and Grendene, the company that produces and disseminates her line of sandals, also joined the Florestas do Futuro project for the reforestation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The new forest, named Gisele Bündchen Sementes, has so far revitalized 15 hectares and protected 100 different species. Also, in some ways her home country of Brazil is way ahead on the green curve, as that nation has actually been able to effectively make their automobiles run on the renewable fuel of sugarcane.

Mostly though, her appointment will help make environmentalism even more chic than it already is. It takes “cool” people to help promote global cooling, and perhaps Gisele’s appointment will be a two-for-one deal including her husband? Who just happens to be “America’s starting quarterback.” As far green power-couples go, it doesn’t get much bigger than the world’s richest and well-known supermodel, married to the man playing the most high profile position in sports; for the most well known team in the most profitable sports league on the planet. Who else can help save the world?

And if Brady does indeed get on board, he won’t be the first NFL QB to publicly champion the green cause. While he was in Chicago, former Bears and current Denver Broncos starting QB Kyle Orton served as celebrity ceremonial host for Earth Hour 2008 in the Second City.  I had an exclusive chat with him during a separate green fundraiser that he, and the Bears organization, was a part of in 2007. unep1

And Bundchen will certainly be working with the best of best in Achim Steiner. I caught up to him when he opened up “Paint for the Planet,” a collection of children’s paintings on the subject of climate change, in the United Nations lobby last fall. He’s easily one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and also possessed one of the finest economic minds around. You can learn more about him by clicking here and here.

Next month, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to negotiate a new global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol. Hopefully, the efforts of Bundchen, Steiner, Orton and others will have made a significant difference.

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