Call for 'environmental war room'
Richard Branson has called for an "environmental
war room" and urged the world's 20 wealthiest
nations to contribute more than £12 million
each to help tackle climate change.
at the United Nations headquarters in New York,
Sir Richard said Virgin has put up a 25 million
dollar (£12.5 million) prize to encourage
scientists and inventors to put their mind to
climate change - and called for the 20 wealthiest
nations to do the same to create the largest scientific
comments came at the start of a two-day UN General
Assembly debate to generate support for a new
treaty to fight global warming by 2009.
Richard said climate change was "the quietest,
most sinister, most deadly threat of all"
and said there was "no excuse for inaction,
no excuse for ignorance".
turn a blind eye in the 21st century is unforgivable,"
said a politically-independent "war room"
was needed to combine "entrepreneurial muscle,
the best possible data and the power to mobilise
resources and influence policy".
has taught us that in times of peril, when all
seems lost, bringing together the greatest minds
of a nation to work together, with one common
goal - survival - is the most effective way to
prevail," he said.
convinced a winning strategy can be devised. The
great minds are out there - but they are fighting
in isolation. So ... I'd like to propose that
we create an environmental war room.
war room will be a nerve centre to catalyse and
scale up innovative ideas that will have the most
significant impact on ensuring the long-term sustainability
for humanity on the planet. In times of crisis
the impossible, through the strength of the human
spirit, becomes possible."
secretary-general Ban Ki-moon urged all nations
to join private companies, civic groups and individuals
this year in sustaining "the unprecedented
momentum" to fight global warming. "If
2007 was the year when climate change rose to
the top of the global agenda, 2008 is the time
we must take concerted action," he said.
and the environment