Richard Branson Launches a New Climate Action Coalition

Richard Branson and Al Gore

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

James Fernyhough
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.

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rickk
November 26, 2020 6:16 pm

yawn !

Patrick Hrushowy
November 26, 2020 6:17 pm

Oh boy, here we go again, …the progressive corporate elite designing our lives. Go pound salt!

Rafe Championt
November 26, 2020 6:21 pm

They don’t need any more money. It is just a matter of forming alliances and partnerships between more and more players in the game.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Rafe Championt
November 27, 2020 4:28 am

They don’t need any more of THEIR money. They need more of other people’s money.

markl
November 26, 2020 6:29 pm

Another useful idiot trying to enhance their image and nothing more.

4 Eyes
Reply to  markl
November 28, 2020 5:01 pm

There is more methinks. After they come up with some grandiose schemes they intend to make money out of them, that is their main aim. After all, they are successful capitalists.

ResourceGuy
November 26, 2020 6:56 pm

Which new island resort is he looking at now?

yarpos
November 26, 2020 7:08 pm

Saw the headline; climate, money and who is there in the pic? well Gore of course.

Beefing up aint he? not much healthy food in those 5/6 star hotels and all the gimme cash events. Clearly the gravy train is rolling on relentlessly.

John F Hultquist
Reply to  yarpos
November 26, 2020 7:37 pm

That is the photo used when Branson was offering a $25 million prize for fighting global warming – –

– – in 2007.

In 2020, Gore looks older, with hair color matching Branson’s, and maybe 50 to 75 pounds less puffy.

November 26, 2020 7:08 pm

I concur with comments so far. The self-annointed. Why are we not surprised.

Art
November 26, 2020 7:21 pm

The guy with a personal carbon footprint bigger than a number of countries wants to tell us to cut our emissions.

Gee, where have I heard that before?

Rick C PE
November 26, 2020 8:35 pm

Branson, Styers, Soros, Gates, Turner, Bezos, Musk, all these billionaire liberals, Davos/Club of Rome types made their fortunes practicing good old capitalism. Why do they all seem to want to destroy the system that made them rich and powerful? Are they just trying to pull the ladder up after them? Why do their plans always seem to include massive government spending of other peoples money?

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Rick C PE
November 26, 2020 11:19 pm

Yes that has puzzled me too. I think it’s a case of pulling up the ladder after them. They want it all for themselves.

PaulH
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
November 27, 2020 5:53 am

They want to crush their competition with rules no one else can follow.

griff
Reply to  Rick C PE
November 27, 2020 1:12 am

The answer is it doesn’t destroy capitalism: business and profits continue, just with a new generation of technology

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
November 27, 2020 7:54 am

That doesn’t meet the needs of society more than half the time!
Otherwise the capacity factor of wind would be home ghee than 35-40% and that of Solar would be greater than it’s paltry 22-25%. High pressure winter nights when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine and you still need to run your Electric heater. You can’t power a modern society with low density power supplies 100% of the time. Your lucky to average 50% with some form of fossil backup on the ready.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  griff
November 27, 2020 3:42 pm

If business and profits would just continue, there would be no need for massive government subsidies, global agreements, political legislation, and activist coalitions. The new generation of technology would result from companies competing for an edge when it comes to business and profits. You don’t seem to understand how this works.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
November 27, 2020 8:01 pm

“griff November 27, 2020 at 1:12 am

The answer is it doesn’t destroy capitalism: business and profits continue, just with a new generation of technology”

Windmills are 4th – 6th century technology.

pigs_in_space
November 26, 2020 9:01 pm

A lecture for SIR R B. & all his ilk

DMacKenzie
November 26, 2020 9:03 pm

Like Bezos, realizes that greenmunists will hurt his business unless they think he is one of theirs….except Bezos threw in enough money that they can’t ever ask him to show the carbon footprint of his one day deliveries….

Warren
Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 26, 2020 10:30 pm

So true!
Amazon the ultimate carbon spewing business.

Flight Level
November 26, 2020 10:55 pm

Another street gang steering committee.

Rod Evans
November 26, 2020 11:28 pm

“A picture paints a thousand words”
The caption to the one above should read, “It’s our world and we will play with it”
More green prophets, sorry, a misspelling there I meant profits…..

Nick
November 27, 2020 1:10 am

It’s clearly evident that these “clubs” are what gentlemens clubs have always been. They are about exclusivity, provide a place to be, “seen”, a place to network for your own gain and a place for old bores to harrumpf and fart, “I was vice president don’t y’know”.

If they were anything other than this the would put their collective business genius together to solve real problems like Elderly Care!

Henry Keswick
November 27, 2020 1:16 am

Yawn … yet another eco-hypocrite greenwashing the fact he owns an airline.

Matthew Sykes
November 27, 2020 1:16 am

More is a liar. The Flint lead in water issue was because of old lead pipes, it did not come from the water. So as much as renewables are a joke, expect Planet of the Humans to be packed with lies too.

griff
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
November 27, 2020 8:46 am

If the water had been correctly treated, it would not have caused the leaching from the pipes…

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
November 27, 2020 11:25 am

Griff, maybe you should check your pipes, would explain a lot.
It’s possibly why the Romans appear in hindsight to have gone bananas, all those lead lined pipes.

Meab
Reply to  griff
November 27, 2020 12:33 pm

griff, it sounds like you’re suggesting that old lead pipes in homes are safe as long as the water supply is correctly treated. So why does Flint have a program to replace old lead pipes now that the water is back to being treated? Here’s a hint for the hard-of-thinking (that would be you, griff). Treated water or not, lead pipes are not safe.

https://apps.npr.org/find-lead-pipes-in-your-home/en/#what-to-do

fred250
Reply to  griff
November 27, 2020 1:50 pm

griff’s minders/carers ( does he have a carer?? )

….. have told griff this all his life,..

And we can all see the consequences on his mind…

….. evidence … every post he makes.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  griff
November 27, 2020 3:29 pm

It wasn’t the treatment, dingleberry. It was the source water. Additives could have helped but it was a switch to a different raw water source that caused the issues. Lead pipes are a ticking timebomb. They’ve gone off before.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
November 27, 2020 9:24 pm

“griff November 27, 2020 at 8:46 am

If the water had been correctly treated, it would not have caused the leaching from the pipes…”

You are an absolute moron, putting it mildly, in this post regarding lead pipes.

Martin
November 27, 2020 1:46 am

Bransons latest attempt to rip other people off. The guy is a crook. As John Lydon ( Aka Johnny Rotton) said of him after being ripped off ” never trust an old hippy”

Saighdear
November 27, 2020 2:09 am

Another yawn, …

Julian Flood
November 27, 2020 2:12 am

When the billionaires meet to discuss how they are next going to rip-off the consumers all around the world, Branson makes the coffee.

JF

leitmotif
November 27, 2020 3:37 am

He’s got the whole world in His hands
He’s got the whole wide world in His hands
He’s got the whole world in His hands
He’s got the whole world …… WHOOPS!

Nik
November 27, 2020 4:01 am

I.e., what support their is, is not “tangible.”

Sara
November 27, 2020 4:17 am

Gasbag.

These “concerned” people are rapidly becoming the equivalent of tent show hucksters and not much more.

Bruce Cobb
November 27, 2020 6:02 am

Branson just wants to be able to sing the famous song from Climate Side Story: “I Feel Greenie”, which goes;

I feel Greenie,
Oh, so Greenie,
I feel Greenie and witty and bright,
And I pity
Any CEO who isn’t me tonight

Eyes Wide Open
November 27, 2020 7:21 am

Sure, let’s take science-related advice from a school dropout!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Eyes Wide Open
November 28, 2020 9:46 am

There are plenty of smart high school drop outs

Branson is fabulously rich and he simply sees another opportunity to get richer

The problem is this is not Adam Smiths “invisible hand”, which is supposed to benefit all

This is gaming the system for the benefit of the few, and clear detriment of the majority

Gordon A. Dressler
November 27, 2020 7:49 am

One meeting that Richard Branson shares with US climate czar-to-be John Kerry should be enough to forever dissuade him from “attempting to build his presence as a major global influencer on climate policy.”

leitmotif
November 27, 2020 7:56 am

That photo of Branson and Gore represents the Virgin Earth Challenge in 2007.

“His [Branson] Virgin Earth Challenge (VEC) was designed to recruit talented innovators from around the world to tackle a seemingly simple problem, remove one billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year for ten years, and keep it out.”

Whatever happened to the VEC?

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  leitmotif
November 27, 2020 8:24 am

Defunct. From the website:

Though the Earth Challenge is no longer active, Virgin remains committed to carbon removal as part of our wider efforts to address the climate emergency.

https://www.virgin.com/about-virgin/virgin-group/news/virgin-earth-challenge

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  leitmotif
November 27, 2020 9:25 am

VEC died a well-deserved death.

The solution to this “seemingly simple problem” turns out to be actually simple: stimulate the growth of coral (which indirectly uses CO2 that has been absorbed into ocean water to form its calcium carbonate “backbone matrix” and that will sequester that incorporated CO2 for hundreds, if not many thousands, of years).

Scientists have discovered that microfragmentation of living coral can increase its growth rate by up to 25 times normal (see: https://marinemadness.blog/2019/03/04/microfragmentation-how-smashing-up-corals-helps-them-grow-faster/ )

There are sufficient areas in the world’s oceans currently hosting coral reefs such that performing microfragmentation around their edges could easily remove the equivalent one billion ADDITIONAL tons of CO2 (via ocean water absorption) from the atmosphere per year within, say, five years of starting such a project and would continuing do so at this or an even higher rate going forward, all other things being equal.

No “invention” is required, no new technology is required, for this method to work.

Peter W
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
November 27, 2020 4:25 pm

However, the problem with removing CO2 from water is the same as removing it from air. CO2 is the source of life in both places! Keep in mind that as water warms, it emits CO2 (ever drink a glass of warm soda water?) CO2 plus sunlight results in plant growth, and plants in the ocean (the likes of phytoplankton) are the basis of ocean life. This is why the great fisheries of the world are in the colder waters, especially where there is upwelling which brings the CO2-rich deep waters to the surface. Those deep waters got their CO2 from undersea volcanoes, which are caused by continental drift.

Forget the ocean acidification myth promulgated by the IPCC. The salts in the ocean neutralize any acidity.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Peter W
November 27, 2020 5:59 pm

Peter W posted: “Keep in mind that as water warms, it emits CO2 (ever drink a glass of warm soda water?)”

Sorry Peter, but it is incorrect to view CO2 as dissolved in ocean water at a pH of 8.1 to 8.2 as analogous to soda water. It is far from it, and this is a very common misconception. There is essentially no dissolved CO2 that exists for very long as a dissolve gas just waiting to be outgassed from saltwater as its temperature increases or as the gas pressure over the liquid water decreases.

If you really dig into the chemistry of how CO2 enters and chemically reacts with sea water (understanding such things as the Revelle factor and, most importantly, the Bjerrum plot), you will find that CO2 gas “solubility” into the ocean is not a reversible process, independent of water temperature, as long as the water pH remains above 8 or so. At the current ocean average pH of 8.1-8.2, far less than 1% of the CO2 entering the ocean remains available as dissolved CO2 that might possibly come out of solution gradually with increasing ocean temperatures.

Basically, an insignificant amount of CO2 remains as a gas in aqueous solution in the world’s oceans, and would therefore be available for temperature-induced “outgassing” (see Figure 1, the Bjerrum plot, at https://www.soest.hawaii.edu/oceanography/faculty/zeebe_files/Publications/ZeebeWolfEnclp07.pdf ).

BTW, you are correct to state “Forget the ocean acidification myth promulgated by the IPCC. The salts in the ocean neutralize any acidity.” It is specifically the salts produced by the ocean’s absorption and rapid chemical reactions with CO2 that provide the basic-side buffering that prevents ocean acidification, as is elegantly explained by in the above-referenced article at the hawaii.edu link.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
November 28, 2020 12:35 am

While what you write is true, there is still an equilibrium concentration of free CO2 in seawater. Higher temperatures will move the equilibrium and thus increase the partial pressure of the gas above the solution.

Peter W
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
November 28, 2020 5:13 am

I notice that you ignored my pointing out the fact that it is the cold oceans which are the more productive. Relatively speaking, the warm oceans are deserts. As I pointed out, the obvious reason for this is the increased availability of CO2 in the colder oceans.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
November 28, 2020 7:56 am

Peter W, not everything that appears to be “obvious” to humans is truth.

Science has taught us that . . . many, many, many times.

Peter W
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
November 28, 2020 8:51 am

OK, I will rephrase what I said. It is due to the increased availability of the carbon put in the oceans by the CO2 from the undersea volcanoes which provides the basis for plant growth. Any way you look at it, putting CO2 into the oceans is not a problem but a benefit, whatever happens to it thereafter.

John Culhane
November 27, 2020 8:55 am

From a film recommended by Micahel Moore:

A TV interviewer asks Richard Branson (with Al Gore sitting next to him): “Is Al Gore a prophet?
Branson replies: “Uhh..ah…How do you spell ‘profit?”

Branson, Gore and the interviewer then let out huge sustained laughs.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  John Culhane
November 27, 2020 10:57 am

Gore was uncomfortable, too close to the truth for public consumption

November 27, 2020 9:04 am

What do you call Branson and Gore?
Two [moderated] [moderated] in a [moderated]

Andy Pattullo
November 27, 2020 9:49 am

Yet another clue as to who the real intellectual black holes of human achievement are. If someone answers yes to any of the following:

“Are you a member of:
1. Climate leaders coalition
2. Club of Rome
3. Davos Economic Forum
4. Extinction rebellion
5. Green Peace
6. Friends of the Earth
7. Unelected EU Plutocracy
8. World bank
9. Antifa or
10. Joe Biden’s Ceremonial Puppet Masters Guild”

They should be provided free passage as soon as possible on the first Douglas Adams memorial flight of Ark Fleet Ship B.
Richard Branson can be first pilot just to be sure he enjoys the full impact on arrival at their destination.

Aussie Geoff
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
November 27, 2020 10:53 am

Thanks Andy, I read the comments right to the end for a “B ark” reference and have now found it.

John t
November 27, 2020 10:44 am

Virtue signalling is the price of remaining cool in his social circle. One of the brilliant realizations of the left during the waning years of the 20th century was to make being a cabillionaire socially acceptable. All that was required was some money and a superficial fealty to the Progressive agenda.

I figure that as long as I maintain a carbon footprint smaller than that of Richard Branson, I’m a superior human being.

Pat from kerbob
November 27, 2020 10:56 am

Ah, Branson pictured again with the source of profit/prophet a la “spell prophet/profit for me”.

Just another bloodsucker looking to attach to the money train

Eric Vieira
November 27, 2020 11:00 am

If normal people are subjected to stringent carbon budgets, there will be more and cheap hydrocarbon
fuel for his space tourism. Preach water and drink wine…

Perry
November 28, 2020 1:44 am

Branson the chancer got lucky with Tubular Bells & Mike Oldfield, but even then he had no judgement. He wanted to add LYRICS!! See Tubular Bells The Mike Oldfield Story – Full Version https://youtu.be/gYGfaYI1n8c

If the gods are willing, Gore will nick all Branson’s loot & he’ll get his just deserts.

November 28, 2020 4:42 am

More on Branson’s green deals here
https://cliscep.com/2017/03/06/heat-the-rich-1-friendly-british-virgins-or-paradise/
with, as a bonus, a photo of the great man nude in his solid hardwood bath hand carved by Amazonian natives.

December 3, 2020 6:23 pm

Branson is a hypocrite, though perhaps less so soon as his airline is going broke.

Though how much carbon does fuel for his space efforts produce?

December 3, 2020 6:28 pm

I’m laughing because of his escapade with Christy Clark when she was premier of BC.

They’d met at a reception or conference or something.

So he sends her an email with a photo of him water-skiing with a woman on his ack, apparently nude.

She whacked him verbally for that, perhaps because she is a devout Anglican, perhaps for political appearances. (She was a fairly good looking woman, divorced.)

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