Global warming makes its mark on 2012 US elections, by Richard Branson
“This November, vote for a president who will lead on climate change.” It was great to read Michael Bloomberg’s tweet yesterday, endorsing Barack Obama’s election campaign for all the right reasons. As the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy have shown this past week, climate change is a very real threat to our way of life. With the Mayor of New York highlighting the importance of a strategy to combat it at the very top of US politics, it has given me hope for the future.
For a long time we have campaigned on the issues surrounding climate change, I’ve never understood how readily some people are willing to push the issue to one side. Business Week’s front cover couldn’t have put it any better, it would be stupid to ignore what is staring us in the face.
The Carbon War Room has been making some real progress as of late, as we look to help strengthen global infrastructure and better prepare cities for natural disasters such as Sandy. We recently managed to convince Cargill Inc, a worldwide commodity carrier company, to stop using their most fuel-inefficient shipping vessels. This will massively reduce to reduce their carbon emissions, it is these sort of steps that will benefit everyone in the future.
As Mayor Bloomberg has pointed out, Barack Obama is the best man to tackle to job of climate change. If he were to be given a second term in office I hope that he would step up investments in clean technology, while looking to bring an end fossil fuel subsidies.
In the short term it’s important that those small businesses and entrepreneurs who have been badly hit by Sandy are supported, aid needs to be quickly given to those in need.
Looking further ahead, it’s crucial that our cities are better prepared for these types of extreme weather conditions. Occurrences like this will only become more frequent as time passes, something which I’m sure President Obama and leaders around the world are currently giving a great deal of thought to.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group