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Australia 'Australia must stop selling coal': Branson calls for climate 'revolution'

02:30  12 november  2019
02:30  12 november  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

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English billionaire Sir Richard Branson has called on Australia to become a world leader in the renewable energy space, saying that "if you do the Credit:Bloomberg. "I'm afraid that Australia must stop selling coal overseas to China and it must stop using coal in Australia ," he told the Herald.

As 'unprecedented' bushfires threaten NSW, Richard Branson has called on Australia to become a world leader in the renewable energy space.CREDIT:BLOOMBERG. "I'm afraid that Australia must stop selling coal overseas to China and it must stop using coal in Australia ," he told the Herald.

As 'unprecedented' bushfires threaten NSW, Richard Branson has called on Australia to become a world leader in the renewable energy space.© Bloomberg As 'unprecedented' bushfires threaten NSW, Richard Branson has called on Australia to become a world leader in the renewable energy space.

English billionaire Sir Richard Branson has called on Australia to become a world leader in the renewable energy space, saying that "if you do the right thing, you'll find in the years to come you'll get the benefits".

As NSW braces itself for one of the worst days of bushfires ever recorded, the Virgin Group founder spoke about its connection to climate change on Tuesday morning in Sydney.

"I'm afraid that Australia must stop selling coal overseas to China and it must stop using coal in Australia," he told the Herald. "It is the most damaging thing that it can do."

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‘ Australia must stop selling coal ’: Branson calls for climate ‘ revolution ’. As 'unprecedented' bushfires threaten NSW, Sir Richard Branson has a plan for Australia to become a world leader in the renewable energy space.

/en-au/news/ australia / australia - must - stop - selling - coal - branson - calls - for - climate - revolution /ar-BBWBSK4. www.msn.com. (no page preview available for this URL).

"I would suggest the Australian government create a revolution in clean energy, which can create thousands more jobs than coal could ever produce."

Branson is in Australia to promote the launch of a partnership between Virgin Australia and his cruise line Virgin Voyages. Last year, Branson criticised Australia's coal industry and likened the issue of climate change to World War III.

He said the right decision was not always the easy one, citing a "painful" decision last year to decline a billion dollars of funding from the Saudi Arabian government for his space program, Virgin Galactic. The move came after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The 69-year-old floated the idea of a clean energy dividend early this year, sitting down with other business people to try and develop an "entrepreneurial way of addressing climate change that doesn't have the negative effects that carbon tax has had in the past - which obviously brought down the Australian government".

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On one hand, it limits the role of coal -based power producers and sidelines powerful mining unions that for decades resisted change. But it also amplifies doubts over the future of the utilities themselves, with PGE SA -- the country’s largest power producer -- talking of bankruptcy.

Earlier this week, Branson also told the Sydney Morning Herald, " Australia must stop selling coal overseas to China and it must stop using coal in Australia ." In answer to the question, Branson acknowledged that most environmentalists have to fly in planes to get to conferences to discuss the

The scheme, he said, is simple.

"Every company that emits carbon should work out its carbon footprint, and then a percentage of their turnover or profits relating to that footprint will not just be sent to the government to be lost in the coffers. 100 per cent will be spent on clean energy initiatives."

He said that if every company was forced to adhere to these rules that "we would have trillions and trillions going into clean energy and very quickly".

"What would happen is the price of clean energy would drop dramatically, and stay down forever. It will never go back up again."

"That's something I'll be talking to the Australian government about," he said, mentioning that renowned Australian scientist Tim Flannery had also reached out to him praising the idea.

He noted the potential hypocrisy of launching a cruise line as concerns over pollution in that industry have reached fever pitch in recent years but said that Virgin would do "everything possible, plus more".

"Staff are challenged to come up with ideas to make us [as environmentally] friendly as possible," he said. "It's obvious single-use plastics should not be used on a cruise ship, because some people will throw them overboard. We've had specially made suncream which won't damage the reefs.

"With brand new ships and brand new technology, we can lower our footprint," Virgin Voyages CCO Nirmal Saverimuttu added.

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