Carbon War Room, the global non-profit organization co-founded by Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson, has merged with alternative energy think tank Rocky Mountain Institute in an effort to combat climate change and accelerate demand and financing for low-carbon solutions that are technically feasible and cost effective today.
The merger brings together CWR, a young organization known for its ability to rally the support of investors and entrepreneurs, with a think tank that has more than three decades of experience.
RMI CEO Jules Kortenhorst will lead the newly joined organizations. CWR President José Maria Figueres will chair a combined board of trustees.
RMI and CWR partnered earlier this year on a joint program, the Ten Island Challenge, that’s working to shift Caribbean island energy systems from imported diesel to renewable sources such as wind and solar. The program is underway in six countries, including Aruba, Colombia, the Bahamas, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Turks and Caicos.
In 2013, Branson committed his home of Necker Island, British Virgin Islands to serve as a ‘demo’ island in the challenge, and, in February of this year, US energy giant NRG Energy was awarded the contract to transition the island to renewables.
The organizations are also working together to boost renewable distributed electricity, speed up the adoption of efficiency technologies for heavy trucks, expand global markets and entrepreneurial activity in energy efficiency and push for a fuel efficiency rating system for ships and ports.