Ben & Jerry's Is Campaigning For Wind Energy In The UK With Special Flavors

Every Wednesday in the UK will be "windy," with flavors meant to draw attention to the loss of wind technology development in the country.


May 31 2019, Updated 11:13 a.m. ET

Ben & Jerry’s is on a campaign to support onshore wind farms in the UK, which have faced staunch opposition from many government ministers.

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The Guardian reports that from now on, the franchise will celebrate "windy Wednesdays" by  renaming some of their classic flavors as Strawberry Breeze-cake and Cherry Gale-cia, then selling them at half price.

Unilever currently owns the Ben & Jerry's brand, and the firm has worked frequently on environmental issues around climate change.

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In 2014, they campaigned in Australia to protect the Great Barrier Reef, which has faced serious health issues, like coral bleaching. Ben & Jerry's temporarily withdrew their popular flavor, Phish Food, to draw attention to the loss of marine life.

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In 2015, Conservatives in the UK government halted subsidies for wind farms, which took effect in 2016. Some remain in production, but the development of wind technology was halted. At the time, it was a stunning blow to investors and environmental activists. 

Chief executive of RenewableUK, Maria McCaffery, said after the decision, “It means this government is quite prepared to pull the rug from under the feet of investors even when this country desperately needs to clean up the way we generate electricity at the lowest possible cost – which is onshore wind. People’s fuel bills will increase directly as a result of this government’s actions.”

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As in Australia, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream stunt will be accompanied by a tour, traveling through London, Birmingham, and Bristol, asking people to get involved and support the technology.

They're also supporting a petition created by the climate change charity 10:10. The petition asks the government to remove “insurmountable barriers in front of new projects” for onshore wind farms, saying that since 2015 there's been a 94 percent reduction in applications. 

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They allege that these restrictions have encouraged "forced" fracking in communities around England in an effort to subsist on fossil fuels. The petition currently has over 26,000 signatures.

There is actually a great deal of public support for onshore wind farms, with a government poll from April showing 76 percent of people want more of it. That's an increase of two percent since November.

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And large energy companies are also putting pressure on the government, like ScottishPower, Vattenfall, and Innogy, who all want the Department for Energy and Industrial Strategy to make subsidies accessible for wind farms.

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At the time these subsidies were rescinded, it was alleged that the cost would be too high for consumers, but a recent report suggests that onshore wind could save £1.6 billion on household energy bills between 2019 and 2025. 

The report was commissioned by several energy firms, and also suggests the construction would support 8,000 skilled jobs, with 8,500 people employed in long-term skilled jobs during operation.

Some government officials have conceded that wind turbines might be "right for other areas," meaning Scotland and Wales, but the pressure is rising. With Ben & Jerry's on the case, it could soon be windy for them every day of the week.

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