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Branson makes global pledge

Virgin topper to donate estimated $3 billion to cause

British entrepreneur Richard Branson has become the latest business mogul to give his cash away.

He has pledged to donate the next 10 years’ profits from his Virgin travel businesses — estimated at £1.6 billion ($3 billion) — to the fight against global warming.

Donation, which Branson announced Thursday in New York on a podium alongside Bill Clinton at the former president’s Global Initiative confab, will amount to about half Branson’s current personal fortune.

Announcement follows a visit to Branson’s London home from former U.S. veep-turned-environmental campaigner Al Gore, tubthumping his film “An Inconvenient Truth” about global warming.

Branson founded Virgin as a record company before moving into transport and other businesses.

Earlier this year, he reached an agreement for cabler NTL to take over his Virgin Mobile, which will create the first U.K. firm to provide the four-play of cable TV, Internet access, fixed-line telephony and mobile phone services.

Branson’s commitment ensures that Clinton’s conference, which brings people together to brainstorm solutions to global issues, will more than meet its goal of matching last year’s $2 billion fund-raising efforts.

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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