Multi-billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s quest for clean energy started with an unexpected knock at the door and an uninvited visitor.
The entrepreneur relived the story as he addressed delegates at this year’s All-Energy Conference from his Necker Island base.
Speaking via Skype, Sir Richard revealed how a chance encounter in his dressing gown with former Vice President Al Gore fuelled his quest for a low-carbon economy.
The widely successful businessman fielded questions about how his drive has since influenced his business direction.
He covered everything from wagering bets with the prime minister of Aruba to his hopes of ushering in the new age of energy use with his much-anticipated space programme.
Sir Richard, you were once a climate change skeptic but from your latest book it is clear you are a great advocate of social and environmental issues – what actually happened to change your attitude?
The one thing that Scotland and the Caribbean share is lots of islands – what makes you think of the role of islands as climate change laboratories?
You had a bet with the Prime Minister of Aruba about which one of you would be 100% renewable first – I suspect you are going to win the battle?
How do you reconcile your passion to reduce carbon with owning an airline and working on Virgin Galactic space ship?
You set yourself the target of reducing Virgin Atlantic emissions by 30% by 2020; by the sound of it you might be a good way towards doing that already?
Scotland has a target of delivering 100% of its electricity by renewable energy by 2020. Targets are a great driver of public policy, but how does that reflect into buisness opportunity, particularly in the rest of the world?
The whole basis behind your Carbon War Room is that carbon reduction is one of the biggest business opportunites facing the wolrd just now – how do you think that should be taken forward, particularly across the globe?
You are a great publicist yourself – what should we do to publicise renewables? Strap a politician to a wind turbine?