Speaking at the annual Six Senses Slow Life Symposium in the Maldives, the founder and chairman of Virgin Group said that governments had to provide additional incentives to support the adoption of alternative fuel sources.

He said: “If we don’t have alternative fuels we are going to have the mother of all recessions. The way to kick-start the revolution is to have no tax on all clean energy while slowly increasing tax on dirty energy.”

He added: “We have been diverting our profit from airlines into developing fuel for aircraft that won’t damage the environment.”

Sir Richard called on European aviation authorities and airports to do more to reduce the aviation industry’s energy emissions and said that the climate change battle is the “biggest entrepreneurial opportunity of our lifetime”.

He added: “Every single ecosystem is in decline. We must revalue how we value our natural assets and how we reduce our consumption patterns. But it is important for all of us to stay positive. Martin Luther King did not get his message across by saying ‘I have a nightmare’.”

Maxine Perella

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