While in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson shared details of his next endeavor: combating climate change.
The billionaire British businessman announced Monday that his newest investment would be in his coalition, Planetary Guardians — composed of 14 world leaders who say they are taking a “whole planet” approach to “safeguard” Earth.
His message to climate change deniers: It’s happening.
“It’s a fact of life,” Branson said in an interview with NBC News. “The amount of carbon that’s going into Earth’s atmosphere is heating up the world and it’s going to do a lot of damage to the world if we don’t get it under control.”
His new coalition includes a range of people, from actors, such as Robert Redford, to activists like Jane Goodall, to politicians, like former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, NBC reported. Branson said the way to address climate change begins with measuring it properly.
“If you can’t measure something properly, you can’t fix it,” he said in the interview. “The idea is that we will measure the nine principal planetary boundaries every year.”
“We can try to make sure we push the world into trying to address them,” he later added.
Branson also acknowledged the impact that his company, which he founded in 1970, has had on climate change. The multinational conglomerate company includes more than 400 companies.
The list includes his Virgin Atlantic airline and Virgin Galactic commercial space program. The latter launched its first space shuttle in July.
“In Virgin Atlantic, I started with one plane flying to New York 40 years ago this year, and now we’ve had many, many planes flying to New York every day,” Branson said.
He noted they have managed to get the price of going into space “from a carbon point of view” to a minimum. Running an airline means trying to get the “youngest, most fuel-efficient planes.”
“So all of us in positions where we can make a big difference have got to make a big difference,” the billionaire added.