A multi-millionaire eco warrior helping to fund the enviro-zealots blockading oil refineries today has revealed he will sell his renewable energy company and go into politics to fight for Net Zero.
Dale Vince, the £100million owner of Forest Green Rovers who calls himself the ‘Zero Carbonista’, will make hundreds of millions more from the sale of Ecotricity, which he founded in 1995 after building his own wind turbine to power the caravan he lived in.
Today the once penniless hippy revealed that he will sell his Gloucestershire business and move into politics ahead of the next general election he calls ‘the most important of my lifetime’.
Mr Vince, who has donated to both Labour and the Greens, has not said whether he will be joining a political party, forming a new one or standing as an independent in 2024.
The twice-married wind farm magnate supported Ed Miliband as Labour leader, saying he was his favourite politician and claiming he is ‘a man who can be trusted’, and compares Boris Johnson to a dodgy second hand car salesman and Pinocchio.
In an email to staff he compared his exit to Barack Obama’s ‘mic drop’ moment, and explained: ‘There will be an election in the next year or two and I believe it will be the most important election of our lives.
‘When I look at the big picture, we have everything we need to get to zero carbon – the technology is here, economics is with us, as are the people, we clearly have the urgent need – but we lack politicians that get it and polices that can help us get there faster.
‘I think it’s the missing piece of the jigsaw. We’ve come a long way in the last 25 years or so, renewable technology is mature and reliable, it’s the cheapest option we have, it’s quick and safe to deploy and our need has clearly grown – the last change we need to make, the last frontier arguably – is in politics.
‘I want to be free to engage in that election, that won’t be possible if I own or run a green energy company. And I think it’s the most important thing that I can do next. I feel compelled’.
He added: ‘We’ve started a process to find a new owner, these things need to have project names apparently, to keep some kind of confidentiality’.
Mr Vince is a self-made multi-millionaire who started off as a penniless hippy.
It was his separation from first wife Kathleen Wyatt that saw him begin a life as a ‘nomad’ and becoming a new age traveller in 1984.
But when he created a wind turbine to power a trailer he was living in, the idea for the business that would make him rich was born.
By 1995 he founded the Renewable Energy Company and launched his first ‘green energy’ wind turbine the following year.
It became Ecotricity, which in 2018 brought in revenue of some £165million a year.
In 2016 he was told to award his first wife £300,000 after she sued him for more money after their split.
He said after the case: ‘I’m disappointed that the supreme court decided not to throw out the case, given it was brought over 30 years since the relationship ended.’ Vince is also the owner of Forest Green Rovers, which serves vegan food and calls itself the greenest football club in the world.
He is one of the funders of the Just Stop Oil campaign. He said he didn’t know protesters would be tying themselves to goalposts at Premier League matches but, now they are, admitted her finds it quite amusing.
He said recently: ‘I don’t really have a problem with what they are doing as long as it is non-violent. Disruption is part and parcel of protest.’
Today oil terminals suspended operations after access roads were blocked by environmental protesters Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion.
ExxonMobil UK, one of the country’s largest privately-owned underground oil pipeline distribution networks, said it had shut down three of its sites.
Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion said they had blocked “10 critical oil terminals” across the UK.
Activists are sitting on roads preventing tankers from leaving the sites, and even began letting air out of tyres.
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