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Richard Branson tells climate deniers to 'get out of the way'

Virgin chief writes on his blog that businesses should follow Apple's example and take a stand against climate scepticismRichard Branson said businesses should take a stand against climate scepticism.

The Guardian, March 10, 2014

Virgin Group chairman and founder, Sir Richard Branson, has said businesses should "stand up" to climate change deniers and they should "get out of our way."Branson said he was "enormously impressed" with Apple's chief executive for telling climate change sceptics to ditch shares in the technology company.At Apple's annual meeting last month, Tim Cook responded angrily to questions from a rightwing thinktank, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), about the profitability of investing in renewable energy, saying: "If you want me to do things only for ROI [return on investment] reasons, you should get out of this stock."

Writing on his blog, Branson said he "wholeheartedly" supported Cook's comments and that every business in the world should emulate Cook's goal of wanting "to leave the world better than we found it," an aim Branson said Virgin shared too."The NCPPR stated there is an 'absence of compelling data' on climate change. If 97% of climate scientists agreeing that climate-warming trends over the past century are due to human activities isn't compelling data, I don't know what is," Branson said, referring to a survey last year of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals that found 97.1% agreed climate change is man-made.Branson said that businesses should take a stand against climate scepticism.

"More businesses should be following Apple's stance in encouraging more investment in sustainability. While Tim [Cook] told sustainability sceptics to 'get out of our stock', I would urge climate change deniers to get out of our way," he said.

The entrepreneur hosted a summit of Caribbean leaders last month at his home in the British Virgin Islands, brokering a deal to help finance renewable energy projects in the region to reduce the islands' dependence on expensive oil imports.

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