Dale Vince has pledged to halt funding Just Stop Oil to end culture war

Green entrepreneur Dale Vince has pledged to halt funding Just Stop Oil because the climate activists’ disruption feeds a “culture war”.

The founder of Ecotricity, 62, triggered a nearly £1 million funding blitz for the protest group in July when he promised to double all donations it received in a 48-hour period.

Mr Vince, a major donor to the Labour party, will now focus on a campaign which inspires young people to vote.

Writing in the Daily Express, he said: “Today I announce my intention to stop funding Just Stop Oil and concentrate on a new campaign to inspire, educate and empower more people – particularly the next generation, who are being blocked by new rules – to exercise their democratic right: it’s called ‘Just Vote’.

“I still share Just Stop Oil’s aim of ending fossil fuels and salute their commitment and bravery in the face of enormous hostility.”

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He added: “I still believe strongly in activism and freedom to protest but Just Stop Oil’s action, ultimately, has not prevented our current government from enacting increasingly damaging economic and environmental policies.

“And further protest and disruption will just feed the new culture war narrative, which has seen Sunak brand me an eco zealot. I’m adapting my approach to this new reality – no amount of protest can stop new drilling for oil, only a change in government can.”

This week five Just Stop Oil protestors were charged with aggravated trespass after a performance of Les Miserables in London’s West End was halted.

Other protests have included pitch invasions at Premier League matches, blocking major roads and targeting events such as Test cricket at Lord’s, the BBC Proms and the Chelsea Flower Show.

Many of its protests involve orange paint, paper or powder.

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Mr Vince said: “The government likes to focus on the disruption Just Stop Oil protests cause, but this pales in comparison to the disruption being caused right now by the climate crisis.”

He added: “Right now, the Tories are opening new coal mines and oil fields, rowing back on net zero targets, doing great harm to our economy and making an enemy of the whole green economic opportunity – imagine what they would do with an actual mandate. I believe this is the most important election of my lifetime and of yours.”

The UK has committed to reach net zero by 2050, and last month Rishi Sunak announced significant changes to the UK’s plans on hitting this target. These mean the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will no longer be phased out in 2030 but in 2035, and only 80 percent of gas boilers will need to be phased out by that date instead of 100 percent.

The North Sea Transition Authority also approved the drilling of the UK’s UK’s largest untapped oil field last month. Rosebank field, which lies north-west of Shetland, contains up to 350 million barrels of oil.

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