The launch of Dale’s new campaign
I firmly believe there should be no new drilling in the North Sea for oil and gas. The international political and scientific consensus is clear: we can’t afford to produce more fossil fuels if we are to avoid the worst of the climate crisis. I also believe in the right to protest, and in the power of protest to bring change. That’s why I funded Just Stop Oil from its inception through this past summer of intensive action and joined them on a protest myself. I applaud the conviction and the commitment of these activists and their bravery in the face of an increasingly hostile state.
But recent actions by this government make it clear that no amount of protesting will prevent them drilling in the North Sea. And while I understand the frustration that people feel, I believe that further protests and the disruption that comes with them are pointless. I would go further and say they would be counterproductive. This government is intent on drilling come what may and will welcome further protest as it feeds their new culture war.
Running scared of the polls, Sunak’s government has begun to demonise ‘net zero’ and the green economy. As evidenced by recent announcements; hundreds of new North Sea oil and gas licenses, the five-year delay to the end of new petrol car sales, and rowing back on energy efficient measures which will cost millions of tenants around £1k per year. On top of this we’ve seen fake announcements on cancelling meat taxes, forced car sharing and seven bins for recycling – an incredible assault on the truth, dressed up as an assault on green issues.
We need a change of approach
I believe that the only way to stop drilling in the North Sea now – science, logic and protest having failed- is by choosing a new government at the coming election.
Consequently, I’m no longer going to fund protest but will instead switch all of my time, effort and funding to a new cause.
For most people, the cost-of-living crisis is the issue that preoccupies them day-to-day more than any other.
And this is why the recent rhetoric from the Conservative government is so damaging: the climate crisis and the cost-of-living crisis are inextricably linked. The green economy solves them both. Just one example is that we get twice the return, in terms of new jobs and GDP growth, from investing in green energy than we do from fossil fuels. Green energy is the only way we can bring energy bills down and keep them there.
I’ve spent the last three decades pioneering sustainable businesses in Energy, Transport and Food; the three areas of life where most of our environment impact occurs. I’ve created a group of green businesses, all of them pioneering in their sectors, which together generate over £500m in annual revenue. This experience has taught me that the green economy is the opportunity of the century, and it’s also how we combat the cost-of-living crisis and power up our economy. It’s the next Industrial Revolution. And this government’s anti-green crusade puts it at risk.
And so I’m announcing the launch of a new campaign: @JustVote24.
Just Vote will be, firstly, about empowering the younger generation, especially first-time voters, to exercise their right to vote and help them overcome the obstacles placed in their way by new legislation designed to disenfranchise millions of Britons.
Just Vote will also reach across the political and age-group spectrum, to the millions of Britons that care about the environment, and want to see more action on the climate crisis and the green economy.
It’s a fact of our electoral system that only one of two parties can form the next government; we want to bring a focus to this reality and to the opportunity that we have – to elect a green government, one that will embrace the opportunities we face, rather than make an enemy of them – and use them to tackle the long list of issues we face as a country.