ECOTRICITY founder Dale Vince has joined with prominent business leaders to voice support for environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion.

The activists shut down parts of the capital last week, in a call to action on climate change.

Mr Vince is one of 21 executives who have written to The Times, expressing their support for the protests, and calling for an “urgent redesign” of global industry.

The group also includes Paul Polman, who was chief executive of Unilever for a decade until January, and Chris Davis, director of corporate social responsibility at The Body Shop.

Mr Vince said: "According to the Times a small number of businesses have signed a joint letter supporting XR, happy to be one of them.

"Ecotricity’s founding mission, in 1995, was to fight climate change by changing the way electricity was made in the UK - since that was the biggest single source of climate emissions at the time.

"We expanded our work ten years later to include transport and food, second and third largest single sources at the time.

"Between the three, energy, transport and food, some 80 per cent of everybody’s personal carbon footprint are caused.

"We do need a dramatically better response from governments, and fighting climate change as if it's a war - with that single focus and overriding purpose, is a viable approach.

"We all need to do our bit too - decisions we make everyday, how we power our homes, how we travel and what we eat - these are the levers we can all pull, sending a different message to governments and conventional businesses - who both tend to follow more than they lead."

Extinction Rebellion activists caused chaos in the capital, by blocking some of the main routes, including Waterloo Bridge.

The protesters want to see carbon emissions reduced to net zero by 2025.

“Contrary to belief, there is business support for the Extinction Rebellion agenda,” the executives wrote in their letter to The Times.

“Most businesses were not designed in the context of the developing climate emergency. Hence we must urgently redesign entire industries and businesses using science-based targets.

“To kickstart the process, businesses should make a declaration that we face a climate emergency and organise a session at a full board meeting to consider the case for urgent action.”

A new platform called Extinction Rebellion Business is being launched, said the business leaders, and they would like to meet activists to discuss what firms can do to counter climate change.