Monday, 15 October 2007

RBS - The Oil & Gas Bank

The Rising Tide network called for Monday 15th October to be a day of local action against the Royal Bank of Scotland, a major backer of the aviation industry, key funder of the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline currently tearing up the Welsh countryside, and the world's self-described ‘Oil and Gas Bank’.

Sheffield Friends of the Earth members, Julie and Liddy,  joined this call for action by meeting up at the Broomhill branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland during their lunch break to leaflet customers about their involvement with funding new oil projects.  

The RBS provides oil companies with the cash to build and operate drilling rigs, pipelines and oil tankers. And through Aviation Capital, RBS helps airlines to launch ever more planes – and carbon emissions – into the skies. From West Africa to the Ecuadorian rainforest, from the North Sea to the Middle East, RBS loans play a key role in forcing open the new carbon frontier, which contributes to environmental destruction, disruption of indigenous peoples and increased conflict across the planet.

The RBS is the second-largest bank in Europe and has global assets of over $1120 billion, including UK brands NatWest, Direct Line and Churchill Insurance. Despite creating a heavily green washed public image through sponsorship of sports and the arts, RBS activities have major destructive impacts on the environment and society. The thirty oil and gas finance deals RBS signed between 2001 and 2006 locked us all into 655 million tonnes of emissions over the next 15 years, more than the UK’s entire annual emissions.

The financial institutions funnelling cash into fossil fuel projects have stood in the shadows for far too long. They may be many miles removed from oil rigs and runways, safely ensconced in shiny glass towers, but if the profit motive is at the heart of the climate crisis, the banks are as culpable as the oil and airline industries.

The Sheffield Star printed two articles and one photograph of the event.

For more details see www.risingtide.org.uk. Download PLATFORM’s report 'The Oil and Gas Bank': www.carbonweb.org/documents/Oil_&_Gas_Bank.pdf