RBS fuels climate change

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RBS Greenwash

Cashing in on Coal Report by PLATFORM

The Oil & Gas Bank Report by PLATFORM


Latest Updates 

New report released!

royal bank of sustainability

'Towards a Royal Bank of Sustainability: protecting taxpayers' interests; cutting carbon risks' released, commissioned by People & Planet, World Development Movement, PLATFORM, Friends of the Earth Scotland, and BankTrack. It investigates whether and how the Government should align its recent investment in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) with social and environmental objectives, in particular to combat climate change.

Read it here.


Online petition

38 degrees

We have teamed up with ’38 Degrees’, an online activist group, to launch a petition telling Alastair Darling to take action on RBS’ appalling record in financing fossil fuels.

Please take two minutes to sign it, and if you’re feeling really motivated, why not post it to a blog or Facebook page, send it to a few mates or a mailing list or re-tweet it?


20th October - Oral Hearing - The High Court

HM Treasury

Oral hearing for the application for a judicial review by PLATFORM, People & Planet and the World Development Movement over the Treasury's lack of adequate environmental and human rights considerations in the investment mandate set out for RBS.

Click here to see the Guardian article 'Treasury taken to court for RBS loans to Vedanta Resources'.


Channel 4 covers the legal action against RBS
RBS oily logo



Nationalised banks must go green

Kevin Smith

Environmental groups are suing the Treasury in an effort to ensure that RBS invests only in sustainable and ethical projects.

See Comment is Free article by Kevin Smith of PLATFORM.


Government faces environmental legal challenge over RBS

Platform logo

“The World Development Movement, PLATFORM and People & Planet have today launched legal action against the Treasury for allowing public money, poured into the Royal Bank of Scotland to be invested in energy companies, and projects linked to climate change and human rights violations.”

See the press release and the front cover article in the Financial Times.


ART NOT OIL requests the pleasure of your company at 'A WAKE FOR BP' at its centeneray party, British Musuem, 6-7pm, Wednesday 6.5.09
the party is over

Oil goliath BP, already forced to postpone its centenary party at the British Museum on April 1st, (also known as Fossil Fools Day[1]), has rescheduled the event for May 6th. Art Not Oil[2], the group behind the original demonstration against its 'tarnished centenary', will be throwing 'A Wake for BP' as guests arrive at the British Museum between 6pm and 7pm on the new date.

See www.risingtide.org.uk.


Parliament recommends Treasury tracks environmental impacts of recapitalisation
Big Ben

Released on 16.03.09, the Environmental Audit Committee's Pre-Budget Report Green Fiscal Policy in a Recession recommends "that the Treasury examine and report on how some form of environmental criteria...might be imposed...[since] the Government now has a controlling interest in a number of banks".

See point 33 here.


New banking rules should reveal emissions from investment
oil in water

Allegra Stratton charts RBS fossil fuel investments for the Guardian since the part-nationalisation.


Climate RUSH! @ RBS HQ
Climate Rush



Nature doesn't do bail outs - take action now!
Climate SOS

People & Planet Students create a human banner to make their message to RBS load and clear. Watch the video here.

Click below to take part in their current email action - to RBS chief executive and to the UK government who gave taxpayers' money to bail out this climate criminal bank. As shareholders we demand you hear us!

[Full story]


Greenwash Award goes to...
green rosette

Dressed up in evening gowns and tuxedos, 50 students faked an Oscars style ceremony in which they awarded the 2008 Greenwash award to the Oyal Bank of Scotland.

Will such prestige make it into the RBS Corporate Social Responsibility Report we wonder?

[Full story]


From casino economy to green economy

The government should use its shareholder position in the newly recapitalised banks to push for proactive change from within.

See this Guardian Comment Is Free piece by Platform's Kevin Smith for a challenge to the government's "arm's length" position on bank bail-outs - that is inconsistent wih its own climate change commitments.

[Full story]


Manchester students bombard RBS

Students and activists in Manchester descended on RBS at their Graduate Recruitment event on Thursday the 23rd October. With a bright party they told RBS and fellow students why working for RBS didn't work for them. Manchester students and residents dumped coal on RBS and E.on recruitment stalls to protest ongoing finance and expansion of the fossil fuel economy. Following RBS' international coal investments in projects such as E.on's Kingsnorth, groups like Manchester's Leave It In The Ground are targeting the bank across the country.

[Full story]


RBS needs to clean up its green act

Before they benefit from any kind of bail-out, UK banks including RBS should commit to reducing their investments in fossil fuels.

See this Guardian Comment Is Free piece by Platform's Kevin Smith for a green response to the banks' bail-out.

[Full story]


Cashing in on Coal - RBS most involved of British banks

RBS & coal

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has helped provide loans of almost $16 billion to coal-related companies over the last two years, according to detailed estimates in a report by a coalition of environmental NGOs, including Friends of the Earth Scotland, People & Planet and PLATFORM. 

The report compiles public evidence of coal industry financing by UK banks in the last two years, and reveals that RBS has helped lend more money to the coal industry, in more deals, than any other major UK bank.

[Full story]


RBS delays CSR report launch after NGOs slam fossil fuel financing

RBS oily logo

RBS released its 2007 Corporate Responsibility Report over two weeks late. This happened after a coalition including Friends of the Earth Scotland pre-empted its publication, casting doubt on the bank's green credentials in the light of its ongoing role in financing fossil fuel expansion around the world.

In 2007 RBS supported the fossil fuel industry with over $7 billion, while the bank's embedded emissions passed 50 million tonnes of CO2 - more than Scotland's.

[Full story]


Loughborough Students Union joins RBS boycott threat

RBS oily logo

Loughborough University People & Planet successfully passed a motion committing their students' union to writing to NatWest to warn that they will move their bank account if RBS-NatWest don't commit to cutting their embedded emissions by 2009.

To publicise the issue, the P&P group staged fights between endangered animals and a NatWest CEO and collected oily finger signatures on a giant world.

[Full story]


RBS "found guilty" of environmental crimes at AGM

RBS oily logo

At a mock trial preceding RBS' AGM in Edinburgh, People & Planet students from across the country held RBS to account. Grey whales, boreal forest, oil pipelines and coal plant cooling towers were witnesses testufying to RBS' complicity in driving climate chaos.

The gathered jury overwhelming concluded that RBS was guilty of environmental and climate crimes and gave the bank a suspended sentence to clean up its lending by 2009 or face a boycott.

[Full story]


RBS caught financing coal!

RBS oily logo

The Women's Institute, RSPB, Christian Aid and other large aid organisations have criticised RBS for financing coal plants and extraction.

During 2007, RBS co-arranged almost $1 billion towards US coal plants at Plum Point and Sandy Creek, was part of a $2 billion credit towards Dynegy, the company building more coal plants in the US than any other, and co-arranged almost $5 billion for E.ON, the power company behind controversial plans for a new coal plant at Kingsnorth.


Students deliver Valentine to RBS

RBS oily logo

Students in Edinburgh delivered Valentine's card to RBS banches across the City containing amended versions of Sonnet 155

Oh dearest loyal royal Scotland bank
I contemplate your foul affair with oil
And dream of oil fields stinking smell most rank
The fuel that leaves them earth's climate to spoil

[Full version on facebook ]


New campaign materials

New campaign materials are now available from People & Planet and PLATFORM. These include stickers, action cards and action booklets. Materials can be ordered from People & Planet.

The Sheffield P&P group were first to use the new action cards, distributing them while acting our the action card (left) with street theatre outside their local NatWest branch, raising awareness of RBS' dodgy dealings with many customers and passersby. [Action Card ]


Edinburgh Students Association votes for uni to pressure RBS as shareholder

RBS oily logo

Edinburgh University Students Association passed a motion for the university to use its £9.2 million investments in RBS to pressure the bank to stop funding fossil fuel extraction. If RBS has failed to end its financing of new fossil fuel extraction by the 2009 AGM, the university is expected to sell its shares. 400 students voted for the motion during EUSA's AGM on November 7.

On November 6th, Edinburgh People & Planet carried a banner to the front of an RBS careers presentation, and asked difficult questions over RBS practices.

[The motion ][Article in Scotsman ]


RBS holdings underwrite regime & profit from Burmese oil

Burmese soldier shoots Japanese journalist

Royal Bank of Scotland, through its stake in the Bank of China, is supporting and profiting from Burmese military rule. RBS controls 8.5% of Bank of China, key backer of Chinese oil company Sinopec, who is propping up the Burmese military regime.
Last month Sinopec began drilling a well with the Burmese regime’s oil company. The launch ceremony on September 26 coincided with the first day of the dictatorship’s brutal crackdown on civil dissent.

[Press Release][Article in Sunday Herald] [Letter to RBS]


Rising Tide National Day of Action - 25 actions & counting

From Edinburgh to Cornwall, blockades to invisble theatre, RBS felt the sting of creative direct action on Monday October 15th. Rising Tide, local People & Planet and Camp for Climate Action groups held at least 25 different actions at local branches and central offices. Pipelines were delivered to branches in Oxford and Cardiff while six homeless polar bears locked themselves across a vehicle entrance in Bristol. A banner was hung above the glass canopy of the main London Bishopsgate office (right). [more]


Scottish students target RBS

Scottish students from the People & Planet network launch campaign against RBS. Groups in Edinburgh protested outside RBS student branches during freshers' weeks, calling on them to withdraw investments from oil extraction. [more]


Amnesty: RBS could be encouraging slave labour and pollution

Amnesty International raised concerns that RBS' investments in China could be encouraging slave labour and pollution. [more]


Press Release: RBS own profits threatened by fossil fuel financing

As the Royal Bank of Scotland prepares to announce its interim 6-month profits on Friday, NGOs warn that the bank’s financing of oil & gas projects may threaten current & future profit margins. Calculations indicate that the bank is carrying unaccounted for current carbon liabilities of up to almost £1 billion, over 20% of the bank’s interim profits. [more]


The oil bank of scotland

RBS-NatWest is driving climate change and feeding carbon addiction faster than any other British bank. Pouring billions into fossil fuels and working intimately with oil corporations, the bank is locking huge emissions into our future. 

About the Campaign

People & Planet and PLATFORM are campaigning for RBS to recognise its climate responsibilities and move its moneyfrom the dirtiest fossil fuels into sustainable energy.