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Richard Branson: Give Coal Miners Clean Energy Jobs

<> on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.<> on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Richard Branson. Alex Wong — 2016 Getty Images

Despite President Donald Trump’s promise to revive the coal mining industry, Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, has a different idea: Give American coal miners clean energy jobs instead.

“Coal mining is not the nicest of jobs, and coal mining disappeared in Britain many decades ago, and pretty much every single one of those coal miners went into jobs which were far more pleasant, far less dangerous, far better for their health, and I doubt that there’s one coal miner that looks back thinking, ‘God, I wish I was down in a coal mine,” Branson first told Yahoo Finance.

Rather, Branson believes creating more wind and solar energy jobs would be “good for the coal miners, good for America, and it would be good for the world.”

Branson also criticized the Trump administration for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, an agreement within the United Nations that deals with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation.

During a panel discussion last week, according to Yahoo Finance, Branson said: “Obviously, what’s happened in America, having an administration that put out the most bizarre statement on [the Paris climate agreement] is not good news because you do need governments to set the rules. And, you do need to make it clear that clean energy should have a leg up over dirty energy. And you have a government that’s not setting proper differentials, that’s going to be tricky.”

His statement comes after he called President Trump “naive” for leaving the agreement.