ECOTRICITY is suing the Government for allegedly using its green Union Jack logo in an environmental campaign, one which the company’s founder has described as a “sham”. 

It has also helped pay the legal costs of three activists jailed for protesting fracking. 

Dale Vince says the Government has not only infringed an Ecotricity trademark by using the logo in material for Green Great Britain Week, but failed to prove it has the environmental credentials to warrant using it.

“It’s a PR exercise, and it’s a total sham to run this campaign. Their record is appalling,” Mr Vince said. 

Stroud News and Journal:

The Ecotricity building near Stroud station

“They’ve launched green GB week just as fracking has re-started in the UK after seven years.”

“We’d be really up for them using the logo if the Government was really green.”

Aside from bringing the lawsuit yesterday, Ecotricity donated more than £1,000 to help three protesters jailed for an anti-fracking protest in Lancashire pay their legal costs. 

When we approached the Government for comment, a spokesperson said: “As the UK government we are rightly proud to use our national flag to showcase our world leading role in tackling climate change.”

He also claimed the Government’s green flag branding had been in the public domain for over a year.

“I don’t think they have a worldleading role in climate change,” Mr Vince later said.

“They’re doing everything possible to force fracking through the planning system. You can’t force fracking on a country and claim you’re a world leader on climate change.”

Mr Vince, who himself has been arrested though not jailed for eco-activism, also said he hopes his £1,121 donation to the Free the Three campaign encourages continued activism against anti-fracking protests in Lancashire and elsewhere.

“These guys have been made criminals for trying to protect the environment.

Stroud News and Journal:

The restarting of fracking in Lancashire on Monday was met with protests

“It’s the first time peaceful protesters have been jailed for over 100 years.”

Green GB Week is a government promotion of the work done by the UK to fight climate change that runs until October 19.

Plans includes an EastEnders storyline and green lighting on some of UK’s key landmarks.

It is is being headed up by climate change minister Claire Perry, who visited Stonehouse last month to tour a green business with the Conservative candidate for Stroud Siobhan Baillie.    

During her visit Ms Perry was asked about Ecotricity. She said: “Amazing energy companies like Ecotricity are challenging the incumbents.

Stroud News and Journal:

Left: Claire Perry, climate minister. Right: Siobhan Baillie, Stroud Conservative candidate

“All power to their elbow. What they’re doing is offering better customer service, lower prices, and a green tariff.”

The government said it has offered to meet with Ecotricity over use of the logo. 

“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” replied Mr Vince when he was told.

In 2009 Ecotricity took legal action against nuclear energy company EDF for use of a green UK flag.