Why does the UN continue to take Richard Branson seriously when it comes to climate change?
Here is a man whose fleet of airplanes continues to promote transanatlantic travel, who is investing in space tourism for the super rich at the same time as promoting biofuels as the solution to climate change, which will just make the poor starve.
But Branson is one of the “special guests” at the UN General Assembly special meeting on climate change, which is designed to keep the political momentum going after the international climate conference in December on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
Michael Bloomberg, New York’s climate-activist mayor who attended the Bali conference, will be the keynote speaker, with Branson’ and actress Daryl Hannah as special guests. Nearly 100 countries have signed up to speak and 20 are sending ministers.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who says his No. 1 priority is persuading the world to agree to new controls on global warming gases before the end of 2009, will address Monday’s opening session along with General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim.
Kerim, a Macedonian diplomat who is president of the 192-nation General Assembly, said cutting greenhouse gases alone will not be enough to pull island nations, sub-Saharan Africa and other particularly vulnerable parts of the world back from the brink of irreversible harm.
Reducing flying would help though Mr Branson….