RBS – Really Botched Sponsorship

Activists dressed as ‘oily bankers’ protested outside the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) sponsored Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh this morning.

Friends of the Earth Scotland continues its new harder line under new boss Stuart Blackley, as this no-holds barred statement confirms. Bella welcomes this new appproach from FOES:

Since the banking crisis in 2008, RBS has received more than £45billion in bail out money from the UK Government – the equivalent of £736 from every man, woman and child in the UK. RBS is 83% owned by the British taxpayer and yet the taxpayer has no say in the type of investments that RBS makes, and the company continues to invest in projects and businesses that are fuelling climate change and causing environmental destruction and human rights abuses.

While Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomes support for low carbon investments, the organisation questions the integrity of RBS’s involvement in the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference. As the UK bank most heavily involved in financing the fossil fuel industry, RBS’s activities totally undermine the transition to a low carbon future.

Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“RBS’s sponsorship of this conference is utterly hypocritical and completely two-faced. These ‘oily bankers’ are keen to be seen promoting events like this because it distracts attention from their major links to some of the most environmentally damaging projects on earth, such as the Canadian tar sands and deep water oil exploration in the Arctic.

“The ‘Oil Bank of Scotland’ is using our, the taxpayer’s, money to finance activities that are driving climate change, damaging the environment, causing massive human rights abuses, and contributing to inequalities all around the world. We want the bank to adopt strict ethical and environmental investment criteria on how it uses our money. If it is serious about investment in low carbon technologies, then that action must come hand in hand with immediate dis-investment in dirty energy.”

Earlier this month, RBS pulled out of conducting further financial deals with cluster-bomb manufacturers after its investments in the controversial industry were exposed. Friends of the Earth Scotland is calling on the bank to continue the improvement of its investment practices and shift its investment from polluting fossil fuel extraction to the development of safe, clean, renewable sources of energy and electricity instead.”

More at FOES.


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  1. wangi says:

    I think you’re missing the obvious conclusion that RBS is of course interested in both “dirty oil” and “clean energy” because investing in either can lead to a return.

  2. J McIllaney says:

    No Wangi I think that your missing the obvious point that if RBS is 83% publically owned then they should not be free to act so clearly against the public interest. Tar Sands and deep water oil are a disaster not an investment opportunity

  3. Steve says:

    Wait a minute- when Scotland becomes independent are we planning to leave our oil under the sea? Good luck with that yes vote if that’s the line.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      I think the argument for sovereignty lies a little beyond one single resource.

  4. Ard Righ says:

    Capitalism is the problem.
    Unrestrained corporate imperialism.

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