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Branson Says World Faces ‘Unbelievably Painful’ Recession

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- British billionaire Richard Branson predicted an “unbelievably painful” recession if the world doesn’t move more quickly to a clean-energy economy.

“We are going to have the mother of all recessions if we don’t sort out our energy policy fast,” Branson said today at a conference in Cancun, Mexico, where United Nations-led negotiations for a new climate change treaty are taking place.

Oil prices as high as $200 a barrel and lack of government measures to encourage low-emissions energy sources, unemployment in the U.S. could reach 15 percent in five years “without any difficulty,” he said.

Branson is founder of Virgin Group Ltd.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Chipman in Washington at kchipman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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