What is Carbon War Room?

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

In December 2014, Carbon War Room (CWR) merged with tRMI – a US-based NGO, dedicated to transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future –and together, they work across all energy sectors to accelerate the energy transition and reduce carbon emissions.

RMI brought more than 30 years of thinking, analytical rigor and breakthrough insight, while CWR brought over five years of entrepreneurial action. Together RMI-CWR engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to make a cost-effective shift from fossil fuels to renewables. 

How was 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 did Carbon War Room achieve?


  • CWR, in partnership with Rightship, launched the first free-to-access shipping efficiency rating system – now used by 25% of the global market for help choosing the right vessels. This translates to two billion tons of cargo per year travelling on cleaner ships.
  • BetterFleet launched in 2016 and is a free-to-access tool enabling users to determine the operational energy efficiency of individual vessels.


  • CWR worked to decarbonise the aviation industry – forging innovative partnerships with airports to scale sustainable aviation fuels, including a recent partnership with Seattle-Tacoma International.


  • Trucking Efficiency, an initiative of CWR and the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), worked to double US freight efficiency by increasing confidence in energy-efficient technologies and practices.
  • Trucking Efficiency informed the government’s new, more-stringent fuel economy and emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks –  estimated to save one billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and $170 billion in fuel costs.


  • CWR developed long-term clean energy roadmaps for Aruba, San Andrés and Providencia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia to build low-carbon futures.
  • A free online learning community was launched for island energy practitioners – enabling them to utilise the fast-track renewable energy transition.