17 Mar 2007

Royal Bank of Scotland fund climate change

had this..

Hi Derek

I spoke alongside you at CCC's Exxon meeting at Vernon Square the other Monday.
Was wondering whether you could feature a report I just produced on RBS & the
financial fuel behind climate change on your blog?

The RBS PR machine is pretty powerful and nixed most of our mainstream coverage,
so am trying to get our findings out via blogs etc.
You can see the report on www.carbonweb.org/rbs and have copied the blurb about
it below.

cheers mika




MEDIA RELEASE from

PLATFORM
Friends of the Earth Scotland
People & Planet
nef (the new economics foundation)
BankTrack

THE OIL BANK OF SCOTLAND - fuelling climate change

The Royal Bank of Scotland is covering up involvement in carbon emissions
greater than those of the whole country of Scotland, according to new research
published today, Monday 12 March 2007.[1] As the government prepares to publish
its draft Climate Change Bill, the report “The Oil & Gas Bank” reveals the
extent to which RBS-NatWest is providing the financial fuel driving climate
change.

Publicly promoting itself as "The Oil & Gas Bank", RBS provides oil
corporations
with the cash to build and operate drilling rigs, pipelines and oil tankers in
some of the world’s most sensitive and unstable places.[2] Bank loans play a
key role in forcing open the new carbon frontier. RBS has financed oil projects
in Nigeria, Angola and Ecuador that cause environmental destruction, disruption
of indigenous peoples and increase conflict.

Andrew Simms, policy director of nef (the new economics foundation) said “At a
time when the whole world is waking up to the reality of climate change, RBS is
behaving like a corporate fossil. By aggressively pursuing a policy that
squeezes the last drops of oil from the most sensitive and volatile regions on
earth, they are helping to send us all in the direction of the dinosaurs.”

The report exposes the degree to which just one part of UK plc is fuelling
climate change, and undermining efforts to reduce concentrations of carbon in
the atmosphere.

By financing vast oil and gas projects, RBS loans lead to carbon emissions
“embedded” in the activities of the fossil fuel sectors that tower above the
bank’s direct, publicly disclosed carbon emissions that stem from its building
use or business travel.
• The emissions embedded within RBS project finance to oil and gas
projects
reached 36.9 million tonnes in 2005, equivalent to those of a quarter of all UK
homes (6.2 million)
• Yet RBS reported 2005 emissions as only 318,000 tonnes in its
Corporate
Responsibility Report – less than one hundredth of the 36.9 million tonnes RBS
was responsible for through its financing of new oil and gas projects.
• Provisional figures for 2006 already show that RBS annual emissions
are
greater than Scotland’s. [3]

Mika Minio-Paluello of PLATFORM and the report’s lead author said "RBS-NatWest
is locking vast emissions into our collective future. By identifying itself as
“the Oil & Gas Bank”, RBS is brazenly embarking on a destructive binge with
potentially devastating consequences for the planet.”

Bronwen Thomas of national student network People & Planet said “Climate change
is a massive issue amongst students, as big as apartheid was in the 1980s.
Students are concerned that by opening NatWest accounts they will help push the
atmosphere past its tipping point. Soon the Oil & Gas Bank might find their
young customers switching to more climate-friendly alternatives.”

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