Cheaper oil could damage renewable energies, says Richard Branson

Entrepreneur claims Saudi Arabia is encouraging collapse in oil price in bid to undermine fracking and clean energy

Saudi Arabia is encouraging the dramatic collapse of oil prices in order to damage the surging global clean energy industry, British entrepreneur Richard Branson has claimed. “They have done it before and it hurt. They don’t just want to damage the US fracking industry, but also the clean energy business. The collapse of oil prices is going to make it much more difficult for clean energy,” he warned, speaking from the Caribbean island of Necker.

But the British entrepreneur said that now was the time for governments wanting to reduce their carbon emissions to introduce a carbon tax on fossil fuel users because the tax would be cushioned by the fall in prices.“If governments want a carbon tax [at the climate summit ] in Paris next year, then it would be the best time. What the clean energy business needs is a gap between it and coal and oil.”

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