‘The only way that global warming will be beaten is if we can create an alternative fuel industry that pays its way,' he stated (The Independent, 24 Sep).
The initiative was widely applauded. ‘This is an extraordinarily generous and imaginative gesture,' said Lib Dem MP Chris Huhn (The Yorkshire Post, 21 Sep). Greenpeace said the initiative was ‘a step in the right direction', admitting: ‘Three billion dollars is a lot of money in anyone's books, and this... is a valuable addition in the fight against climate change' (John Sauven, Daily Telegraph, 21 Sep).
Some commentators noted ‘green is the new black in the world of wealthy philanthropy' (The Herald, 22 Sep), while others pointed to Branson's sound business acumen. ‘According to some experts, the Virgin boss is making a canny attempt to get in on the ground floor of a fast-growing and innovative global industry' (bbc.co.uk, 21 September).
Put more succinctly, it was a ‘slam-dunk business decision' (Moonage Spacedream Blog, FT, 24 Sep).