In an interview with the CEO of the Nature Conservancy, Branson claims to have been a skeptic — his conversion began with a bath time phone call from Al Gore.
Mark Tercek: You are also a champion for bold action on climate change, though you have admitted that you were once a skeptic. What shifted your perspective?
Sir Richard Branson: It started with a phone call from Al Gore while I was in the bath. He wanted to show me An Inconvenient Truth, and his poignant and elegant reduction of these issues really struck a chord with myself as an interested non-expert. Tim Flannery’s book, The Weather Makers, also had a pronounced effect on me.
As a big buyer of fuel for our transport businesses, I am very aware of the damage that oil and its greenhouse gas emissions is doing to the environment and the climate system in particular. At Virgin we have been investing the profits from our transport businesses into the research and development of sustainable fuels and other sources of renewable energy.