Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Billionaire Richard Branson appears to be attempting to build his presence as a major global influencer on climate policy, but his new climate change club does not appear to have a lot of direct financial support.
Top CEOs form exclusive climate change club
ReporterNov 25, 2020 – 4.58pm
The CEOs of 22 of Australia’s biggest companies, including BHP, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, AGL, Rio Tinto and Wesfarmers, have joined forces to collaborate on ways to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
The Climate Leaders Coalition is driven by Lynette Mayne, head of the Australian branch of British businessman Richard Branson’s “B Team” initiative, which attempts to embed more socially and environmentally aware thinking in business decision making.
B-Team Australasia previously drove the “Future of Work” initiative, headed by David Gonski, which brought CEOs together to attempt to mitigate the potentially damaging effects of automation and digitisation of work while embracing the progress they represent.
Not much money is going into the initiative, with companies paying only $3000 to be members. But Ms Mayne, who modelled the idea on a similar initiative in New Zealand, said she hoped the coalition would lead to bold projects and initiatives that would have a practical effect on emissions.
…Read more: https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/top-ceos-form-exclusive-climate-change-club-20201125-p56hvo
Branson’s relationship with the climate community has sometimes been troubled. The fact Branson founded a major multinational airline is frequently thrown in his face when he tries to burnish his green credentials, along with the occasional accusation from greens that Branson’s commitment of money does not match his words of support.
Richard Branson also made a very unflattering appearance in Michael Moore’s blockbuster eco-flick “Planet of the Humans”.
It is intriguing that this latest Branson climate initiative does not appear to be backed by very much money.