British billionaire Richard Branson pledged approximately $3 billion dollars today toward developing renewable energy sources in an effort to combat global warming. The funds are to come from all of the profits from Branson’s hugely successful Virgin airline and train companies. The NY Times reported that Branson was inspired by Al Gore, who visited Branson in the past few months to remind him that “with great power comes great responsibility,” as Branson paraphrased to news reporters today.
The Times noted that according to some in scientific research, the pledge is the largest individual commitment of money given to fight climate change. This announcement came on day two of the Clinton Global Initiative, a three-day philanthropic event focusing on poverty, reconciling religious conflicts, and climate change, among other world concerns. Former President Bill Clinton is hosting the event in Manhattan.