Thursday, September 21, 2006

$3 billion earmarked to combat global warming, courtesy of Richard Branson

Virgin Group founder and Chairman Richard Branson has pledged 100% of the profits from his air, rail and other transportation enterprises -- estimated at $3 billion -- to deal with climate change over the next 10 years via the Clinton Global Initiative, the Brit biz mogul announced today in New York City.

Clinton said Branson's pledge is groundbreaking not just because of the money involved "but because of the statement he is making: clean energy is good for the world and it's good for business," Reuters and other news outlets reported from the Clinton initiative's annual summit. CNBC host Maria Bartiromo opined that the latest sequence of green investments are tipping the scales where the private sector is taking more action against global warming than government agencies are.

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration has come forth with some initiatives of its own on the climate front, according to The Washington Posts Juliet Eilperin and other journalists. Whether they constitute the rumored grand plan that would boost GOPers' prospects at the polls in November or address a growing chorus of criticism within his own party for the lack of a substantive climate change strategy, remains to be seen.

The Bush plan, outlined by Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, is "visionary" for its planning horizon but lacking in scope, immediate action and fresh ideas, according to both Greenpeace and House Science Commitee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY).

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