'The Oil Bank of Scotland' driving forward climate change

14 Mar 2007

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which includes NatWest, is covering up huge carbon emissions - greater than those of Scotland - according to new research published this week. In the same week as the Government's draft Climate Change Bill, the report 'The Oil & Gas Bank' reveals that RBS are 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 most sensitive and unstable places in the world. Bank loans play a key role in forcing open the new carbon frontier. RBS has financed oil projects in Nigeria, Angola and Ecuador which have caused environmental destruction, disruption of indigenous peoples and increase conflict.

By financing oil & gas extraction, RBS loans create “embedded” carbon emissions that dwarf the disclosed internal emissions resulting from building use or business travel by the bank. The emissions from RBS-financed oil and gas projects reached 36.9 million tonnes in 2005 — about a quarter of the amount produced by all UK homes. In comparison, RBS reported 2005 emissions as only 318,000 tonnes in its Corporate Responsibility Report. Provisional figures for 2006 show that RBS’s annual emissions are greater than ScotlandĀ“s.

Mika Minio-Paluello of PLATFORM, the lead author of the report, 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.

People & Planet’s Ditch Dirty Development campaign calls for an end to funding for climate changing fossil fuel extraction and a massive increase in funding for renewables.