A Great Britain is a Green Britain: Dale Vince Challenges Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown, the new British Prime Minister who replaced Tony Blair last week, has made some significant green moves in his previous role as chancellor. Nevertheless, he has also faced the wrath of green groups a number of times, most notably for not doing enough to tackle the growth in aviation. So environmentalists will be watching carefully how the new Prime Minister tackles the growing challenges of climate change and energy security. Dale Vince, one of the UK's leading developers of renewable energy (who we interviewed here) , took the opportunity last week to lay down the gauntlet for Mr Brown, taking out a full page advert in the Guardian on the day Tony Blair stepped down. The ad featured a green Union Jack flag which Dale called on the nation to adopt as a national symbol of positive change:
"The New Green Union Jack symbolises that change; a change in attitude, a positive new green energy ambition, and a new unity. Britain can come together if we focus on our common cause, it's called climate change. We love the old Jack, this is more about activism, it's about refocusing ourselves on the future and taking positive action to make sure we have one."
Mr Vince also launched a new website explaining why he believes that a change in leaders is not enough, but should be seen as an opportunity for a much more fundamental shift of power. According to the site's manifesto, the UK should aim for zero carbon emissions by 2050:
"A post carbon era is within reach. Britain will be a more secure, confident and independent place, as well as a greener place, for it. Russia's gas, Iraq's oil, violent shifts in energy prices, disengaged communities, can all be things of the past if we act now.
Zero is a positive drive for sustainable living and it started here in the UK and we are already global leaders in the field. It will bring innovation, community and real prosperity for the people who live here - and it can be fun - in fact I've got a 120mph wind-powered sportscar (almost) ready to go if you fancy a spin. Look no further, the solution is Zero. Trust me, I'm not a consultant, I'm an engineer. A Great Britain is a Green Britain."
Many will scoff at Dale's goals, given the more conservative official targets for renewable energy and clean technology, but there is no doubt that he is serious in his intensions. His company, Ecotricity, will be investing £25,000,000 (approximately US$ 50,000,000) in wind energy this year alone. Given the worrying nature of recent headlines about climate change, we are very pleased to see folks like Dale out there raising the bar for our elected (and unelected) officials. ::via Ecotricity::