Take action: Email Vince Cable

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Please take a few seconds to edit the suggested email below and tell Vince Cable why you think the Government should step in to clean up Royal Bank of Scotland’s investments in fossil fuels.

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Please encourage investment in a low-carbon economy, not dirty fossil fuels

Dear Dr Cable,

I'm very concerned about the announcements of delays to the Green Investment Bank and am writing to urge you to ensure the investments of the bailed-out banks also contribute to and support the development of a low-carbon economy.

Currently, the majority of the energy investment portfolio of the Royal Bank of Scotland - recipient of the biggest taxpayer bail-out - is focused on fossil fuels. A new report published this week (see: http://bit.ly/dMZQvL) shows RBS has invested 8 billion euros in coal since 2008. RBS has directly loaned nearly £3.6bn and helped raise equity finance worth £9.3bn for fossil fuel companies since the bail-out in October 2008 including to companies engaged in the extraction and processing of particularly damaging and carbon intensive fuels, such as Canada's tar sands. We feel this directly undermines the stated intentions of the Coalition with regards to a GIB, and the potential impact this could have in tackling climate change.

A large financial institution like RBS could have an enormously positive effect on investor confidence if it were to signal a strategic move away from fossil fuels towards financing clean, green, renewable energy. The delays to the GIB's ability to borrow money until 2015/16 makes RBS' role, as a publicly-owned bank with expertise in the energy sector, all the more important.

The government, as majority shareholder, has a key role to play in ensuring that RBS’s investment strategy supports the huge effort needed to tackle climate change and move to a low carbon economy.

I urge you to host talks between UKFI and the banks it invests in, on behalf of the taxpayer, to investigate how their investment strategies could support the objectives of the GIB and the low-carbon transition of the UK economy.

I look forward to hearing from you.