Billionaire Richard Branson says the global economy is set to embark a disaster course unless governments do more to promote alternative energy sources to fossil fuels.
Speaking at the World Climate Summit, a meeting of global businesses discussing ways to combat climate change, Branson said that it is entirely conceivable that oil prices could rise to US$200 per barrel and that unemployment rates will rise.
Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, said, "We are going to have the mother of all recessions if we don't sort our our energy policy fast. We think we've got it bad today. In five years time unemployment could go to 15% without any difficulty at all in America."
Branson, 60, spoke alongside U.S. billionaire Ted Turner, founder of Cable News Network. Branson and Turner, 72, also will speak tomorrow at the two-day conference focused on how businesses can help combat climate change.
Branson is an avid supporter of and investor in clean energy technologies. He has not only established a venture capital firm; 'Virgin Green Fund' (which solely invests in renewable energy and energy efficient technologies), but has also created the Carbon War Room; a non-profit organisation which supports entrprenuers to develop clean energy solutions that address climate change.