Sir Richard Branson, the founder and Chairman of
the Virgin Group, has said that the world faces “the mother of all
recessions” unless much more is done to encourage the development
of renewable energy.
Addressing delegates at the third annual Six
Senses Slow Life Symposium at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, Sir
Richard said that governments had to provide additional incentives
to support the adoption of alternative fuel sources.
“If we don’t have alternative fuels we
are going to have the mother of all recessions. The way to
kick-start the revolution is to have no tax on all clean energy
while slowly increasing tax on dirty energy,” said Sir Richard. “We have been
diverting our profit from airlines into developing fuel for
aircraft that won’t damage the environment.”
Richard called on European aviation authorities and airports to do
more to reduce the aviation industry’s energy emissions and said
that the climate change battle is the “biggest entrepreneurial
opportunity of our lifetime”.
single ecosystem is in decline. We must revalue how we value our
natural assets and how we reduce our consumption patterns. But it
is important for all of us to stay positive. Martin Luther King
did not get his message across by saying “I have a nightmare”,” he
Other speakers at the Six Senses Slow Life Symposium
include President Nasheed of the Maldives and Hollywood actors and renowned environmental campaigners Edward Norton and Daryl Hannah.
Mark Lynas, the Climate Change Advisor to President
Nasheed of the Maldives, said that the island state is the perfect
test-bed for cutting edge environmental technologies.
Addressing delegates at the Symposium, Mr Lynas said that the
country was now perfectly placed to lead the world to a low carbon future. He said that companies from all over the
world are coming to the Maldives to test renewable technologies.
“What has really struck me is that this is a
country that intends to be master of its own destiny. The phrase
is “victim to victor”,” he said. “What the
Maldives has managed to do is to say that going carbon neutral is
good for the economy – it is the engine for growth.”
It was a theme picked up by Jakob von Uexkull of the World
Future Council. He said: “Climate change is the
only threat that the media downplays rather than exaggerates.
Natural laws can not be changed. Nature provides no bail out
packages and you can’t negotiate with melting glaciers.”
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