Carbon War Room. Richard Branson wants business to do what government isn’t

Sir Richard Branson is launching the Carbon War Room because he believes governments have failed and business must do something. After the deliberate failure orchestrated by industrial countries that was Copenhagen, it’s heartening to see someone with money, clout, and influence step into the void.

The Carbon War Room harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change. The world needs entrepreneurial leadership to create a post-carbon economy.

The War Room’s unique approach focuses on bringing together successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy experts, researchers, and thought leaders to focus on market-driven solutions.

Our approach is to identify the barriers that are preventing market-based scale up of climate change solutions and thereby perpetuating the status quo. In addition to technology and policy gaps, these barriers include principal-agent problems, information gaps, and lack of common standards or metrics.

Their first goal to to work on reducing the huge amount of carbon emissions for global marine shipping.

[global marine shipping is] not covered by any national or international regulations: global marine shipping. The massive container ships that ply the ocean lanes are the backbone of globalization, but they are also carbon hogs.

“It’s an overlooked and important problem, but it’s also extraterritorial,” says Travis Bradford, the chief operating officer of the Carbon War Room, based in Washington, D.C. “And there’s no external force that will cause the shipping industry to change.”

They plan to create cleantech solutions that can be retrofitted to the 20,000 existing ships that pollute the worst, something which seems quite doable to me. For example, equipping such ships with sails is already being done and cuts fuel costs substantially, something shipping companies would certainly welcome.

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