Sir Richard Branson, the British magnate and adventurer, said yesterday that his personal profits from airlines and a rail company that he controls — a sum he estimated at $3 billion over the next 10 years — would be invested in developing energy sources that do not contribute to global warming. He announced the plan on the second day of the Clinton Global Initiative, a three-day meeting in Manhattan that amounts to a competitive festival of philanthropy run by former President Bill Clinton.
The money, Sir Richard said, would be invested in a host of alternative energy enterprises, including existing businesses within his Virgin Group, which consists of about 200 different companies connected in some way to Sir Richard’s sprawling corporate empire.
“Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents,” Sir Richard said. “It is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world. We must not be the generation responsible for irreversibly damaging the environment.”
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