Friday, February 9, 2007

Branson Creates $25 Million Global Warming Prize

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson has announced a $25 million prize for the first group to come up with a way of removing one billion metric tons of carbon gases a year from the atmosphere for 10 years -- with $5 million of the prize being paid at the start and the remaining $20 million at the end.

The prize will initially only be open for five years, with ideas assessed by a panel of judges including Branson, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, British ex-diplomat Crispin Tickell, U.S. climate scientist James Hansen, Briton James Lovelock and Australian environmentalist Tim Flannery.

Branson also reiterated a pledge he made in September to invest $3 billion toward fighting global warming, saying he would commit all profits from his travel companies over the next 10 years. As part of that pledge, he launched a new Virgin Fuels business, which will invest up to $400 million in green energy projects over the next three years.

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