Rebel gazillionaire Richard Branson, owner of Virgin airlines, pledged yesterday to invest all profits over the next 10 years from his airline and train businesses to fight global warming. That projects to be about $3 billion.
“Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents,” Branson said yesterday, according to the Washington Post (free registration). “We must not be the generation responsible for irreversibly damaging the environment. We must hand it over to our children in as near pristine a condition as we were lent it from our parents.”
Part of the plan to combat global warming is the development of alternative fuels. Branson will look to develop “renewable energy” through a unit called Virgin Fuels. “We must rapidly wean ourselves off our dependence on coal and fossil fuels,” he said, and the transportation industry “must be at the forefront of developing environmentally friendly business strategies.”
UPDATE March 18, 2009: Branson hasn’t been resting on his laurels since this announcement was made. He offered $25 million to anyone who can come up with a good way of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while Virgin Atlantic tested biofuels on a flight.