Protestors to Target RBS Global Headquarters
August 06, 2010
- Climate activists vow to take action against RBS ‘starting with the HQ’
- Protests to coincide with Edinburgh festivals, sponsored by RBS
Hundreds of climate activists have vowed to take action against the RBS headquarters outside Edinburgh later this month. The announcement comes on the day that RBS announces its interim profits, which are expected to show a rise in profits despite the economic downturn.
The Camp for Climate Action are targeting RBS because of its commitment to financing the fossil fuel industry in the UK and around the world1, including the Canadian Tar Sands2. Previous camps were held targeting the third runway at Heathrow in 2007 and Kingsnorth coal power station in 2008, and those projects have now been shelved.
The protesters will be setting up a ‘climate camp’ by ‘swooping’ on a site in or near Edinburgh from August 19th, and taking mass action against RBS on Monday 23rd, potentially targetting the HQ, offices, branches and fossil fuel projects funded by the bank.
Ruth Brown, a community worker from London said:
“Destructive projects like open cast coal mines in the UK are only made possible through finance from banks like RBS. The government bailed them out, and now they use their profits to destroy our communities and are causing catastrophic climate change.
“We face a double disregard to human well-being. With RBS having been bailed out with £45.5 billion of ‘public’ money, not only do we face decades of unjust public sector cuts, but this diverted cash is also being used to further trash our climate and communities.
“Communities on the front line around the world – from Scotland to Nigeria, from Kent to Canada – are saying no to this exploitative and dangerous destruction of our planet and our future, and the Camp for Climate Action is joining them.”
For more information and comment call 07040 900905, 07584955708 (Scotland)
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Since its bail out, RBS has taken part in an estimated £10 billion in loans to coal, oil and gas companies including:
- In January 2009, RBS helped raise £400 million for the Irish company Tullow Oil, and in March 2009 RBS was part of a consortium of 14 banks that lent £1.4 billion to Tullow Oil. Tullow Oil is involved in the exploration and extraction of oil on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This area has seen some of the fiercest fighting in an extractive resource-driven civil war as rival armies and militias have struggled for control of the land, leading to thousands of civilian deaths and refugees.
- RBS has helped to raise £116 million for Cairn Energy, a Scottish oil company, to be used for ‘accelerated drilling’ in arctic Greenland.
2. Canadian Tar Sands and fossil fuel investments:
- Between 2007 and 2009, RBS led the underwriting of loans for tar sands mining in Canada – more than $7.5 billion. Tar sands are found in the ground in the form of bitumen mixed with sand, clay and water. They are the most carbon-intensive of all fossil fuels, and when refined, they leave giant poisonous lakes containing sand, water, silt, clay, hydrocarbons and toxic chemicals. In Alberta, Canada, high levels of dangerous toxins have been found in the Athabasca River, downstream from tar sands mining. The First Nation indigenous communities who live on this land are suffering daily from this pollution, despite regulations designed to protect human rights and the environment. Local rates of cancers and immune system disease are alarmingly high. For more information on RBS’ financing of the fossil fuel industry, see: