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Branson calls for shipping to set its own emissions targets

Virgin founder says reduction targets would be more effective than a tax on bunker fuel.





Updated on 21 Dec 2009 11:53 GMT

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson wants the shipping and airline industries to set their own emissions reduction targets following the conclusion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, which failed to reach a binding agreement on carbon dioxide emissions.

Speaking in an interview in Copenhagen last Thursday before the end of COP15, Branson said "The airline industry wants to see targets set on Friday. I think the shipping industry wants targets set on Friday, I think the IT industry wants targets set on Friday so that we know where we stand and we can get on with it and make sure this world is back on track again."

"If the governments do not set those targets, then the industries need to get together and set the targets themselves, making sure that they are strong enough to keep global warming below 2 degrees (above pre-industrial levels)," he said.

Commenting on the concept of a tax on bunker fuel consumption, Branson said that reduction targets would be more effetive.

"The problem with a tax is where does the money go? And if you strip money from the airlines, then they will have less to invest," said Branson.






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