What is the Carbon War Room?

Carbon War Room was co-founded in 2009 by Richard Branson and a team of like-minded entrepreneurs - they all wanted to speed up the adoption of market-based solutions to climate change.

In December 2014, Carbon War Room (CWR) merged with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a US-based NGO, dedicated to transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.

Together, they work to reduce carbon emissions by gigatons, sector by sector. To the new alliance, RMI brought more than 30 years of thinking, analytical rigor and breakthrough insight, while CWR brought over five years of entrepreneurial action. RMI-CWR engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to make a cost-effective shift from fossil fuels to renewables. 

How is Virgin Unite involved?

Carbon War Room was incubated by Richard Branson and Virgin Unite in 2009. Virgin Unite remains one of the main partners, funders and strategic supporters of the alliance’s work.

What has RMI - CWR achieved so far?

  • Shipping: Launched the world’s first shipping efficiency rating system, which is now used by 25 per cent of the global market for help choosing the right vessels. That translates to 2 billion tons of cargo per year travelling on cleaner ships.
  • Islands: Launched the ‘Ten Island Challenge’ (in 2012) to transition islands to 100 per cent renewable energy. On board so far are Aruba, the Bahamas, Belize, Colombia, Grenada, St Lucia and Turks & Caicos. In 2015, they joined forces with the Clinton Climate Initiative Islands team. Richard’s home, Necker Island, will be the ‘demo island’.
  • Aviation: Launched a database to inform the aviation industry about fuel options. Next year, the programme will expand its work to pioneering fuel supplies at airports.
  • Buildings: Helped to pioneer commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Programmes in USA which helps buildings owners pay for all energy efficiency measures off-balance sheet without upfront capital. The Ygrene Energy Fund-led PACE Commercial Consortium launched its first $650 million retrofit package for commercial property in Miami-Dade County, Florida and Sacramento, California. In 2015, a new buildings programme will be launched for next generation, super-efficient buildings, commercial and residential buildings, as well as a China buildings project.
  • Trucking: CWR launched TruckingEfficiency.org, an information tool that helps fleets to choose the most efficient technologies. In 2014, 14 North American fleets saved half a billion dollars through efficiency technologies recommended by the tool. Adoption of these technologies is reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 18 per cent.
  • We work with RightShip on this project