Sir Richard Branson needs no introduction. The serial entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group has a finger in the world’s biggest industries from air and ground travel to telecommunications, health, space travel and renewable energy. He is also behind US-based non-profit Carbon War Room, which launched in 2010 to harness the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change. Carbon War Room’s Creating Climate Wealth event arrives in Asia this year. Sir Richard will be opening the inaugural set of workshops to be held on May 13.
He speaks to Eco-Business in the first of a new Sustainability Leaders Series, which features leading personalities in the region who will share best practices and latest trends in sustainability.
EB: Carbon War Room is a few years old now – how would you describe the progress it has made? Has it been satisfactory in achieving the goals of accelerating investments to cut carbon?
Sir Richard: In 2009, when governments gathered to discuss the climate treaty in Copenhagen, I was frustrated that business wasn’t “at the table”. Of course, governments set targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and can regulate business – but at the end of the day it is only business that can reduce carbon – as they are the ones that generate carbon. And for business to want to reduce carbon there must be an incentive, such as savings or profits. I wanted to find a voice for clean tech entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes with great entrepreneurial soltuions, to help them get more of their ideas implemented and scaled, quicker. Like many people, we couldn’t wait for all the governments of the world to agree a course of action.