Billionaire entrepreneur and outspoken environmentalist Richard Branson said Monday the Volkswagen emissions scandal should be a wake-up call to automakers to invest in clean vehicle innovations instead of backward-looking, fossil-fuel-derived technologies.
"It shows they should have actually invested their money in battery-driven cars, which is the future, rather than diesel-driven cars and cheating," the Virgin Group founder said in a CNBC's "Squawk Box" interview.
"What's happened to Volkswagen is actually positive news in that hopefully the car manufacturers will do the right thing and will invest in the future."
Asked if he would buy a VW-made vehicle, Branson said: "I would want to operate a car that is clean. So I wouldn't."
On the broader debate on man-made climate change, he said, "I don't bother about the few climate skeptics anymore. The overwhelming evidence is the world has a problem unless we do something about it."
Branson is the co-founder with Jochen Zeitz of the B Team, a group of entrepreneurs invested in boosting social, environmental and economic benefits.
"Let's have fun doing something constructively about it that saves the world money and powers the world at a price that's less than today," he said. "Let's rally hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world to do that."