Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Richard Tice accused of hypocrisy over firm’s embrace of green tech
Climate Environment World News

Richard Tice accused of hypocrisy over firm’s embrace of green tech

Richard Tice’s property company has enthusiastically embraced green technologies despite his public hostility as Reform UK chair to net zero targets and some of the same initiatives.

The businessman, who led the populist rightwing party until Nigel Farage took over earlier this month, was accused of hypocrisy by opponents in Boston and Skegness, where he is running as a general election candidate.

Electric car charging points and roof-mounted solar panels are increasingly featuring in refurbishment efforts undertaken by Quidnet Reit Ltd, of which Tice is chief executive. The company buys, refurbishes and leases out properties to businesses.

It told shareholders last year that solar panels generating electricity were helping to substantially increase rental income and were “saving hundreds of tonnes of CO2 per annum”. Such efforts are part of an emerging trend among property companies to recognise that their rooftops and parking areas are ripe for profitable green development.

However, Reform has set itself up as a standard bearer of those opposed to the net zero target, and the party opposes the use of farmland for solar development in its manifesto. Tice himself has tweeted: “BAN ugly solar farms on farmland that should be producing British food. Put them on roofs instead.”

He has also criticised electric car tyres, claiming they cause more toxins than fossil fuel cars owing to extra weight, in what he claimed was “embarrassing for the green vested interests”.

In contrast with his rhetoric and that of the party, he told shareholders of Quidnet Reit last summer that the company’s drive to support green initiatives across the portfolio continued, “with more investment under way in super-fast electric vehicle points which will be ready this year and plans for more solar panels on our roofs”.

The embrace of green technologies by Tice’s company was highlighted in an examination of Reform UK by the Autonomy Institute, a research organisation that focuses on tackling the climate crisis.

Tice told the Guardian: “I love new technology and love my Tesla. As I have said, solar panels on roofs are a good way to multi-use a roof.”

“But that is totally different to impoverishing the least well off with forced changes to our way of life that are expensive, unaffordable and will make zero difference to global climate change; the latter has happened for millions of years, always will. The idea that stopping man-made CO2 emissions will stop the power of the sun, volcanoes and sea-level rise is childish nonsense.”

skip past newsletter promotion

He added that the installations were not subsidised, “unlike windfarms and solar farms”, and that he had learned about benefits and pitfalls involved by investing in the process.

“So I put my money where my mouth is rather than whinge from the sidelines like chippy journalists.”

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said: “This is pure hypocrisy from Richard Tice, plain and simple. His ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude will not be welcomed by homeowners who are struggling with spiralling energy bills.”

A source in the Conservative campaign in Boston and Skegness said: “This sounds like extraordinary hypocrisy from Richard Tice – when he can make money out of environmental measures that save the planet, he’s apparently all for it.”

Source: theguardian.com