Students roll out red carpet for RBS-Natwest greenwash award show

4 Dec 2008

On Wednesday 3 December Manchester students hosted an elaborate awards ceremony outside the Royal Bank of Scotland offices. At precisely 2pm, around 50 students wearing evening suits and ball gowns rolled out a red carpet and set up a podium. The presenter bounded up onto the stage to begin the proceedings.

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The red carpet treatment for RBS-Natwest

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Alex gets stuck in with the media

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Fuelling climate chaos for future generations

After Oscars style nominations in which E.On, BP, Shell and BAA were announced as runners up, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was declared the winner of the 2008 greenwash award show.

A mock representative of RBS then gave a very entertaining yet poignant speech about RBS’ greenwash. He was rewarded with a golden statue and a large cheque congratulating the bank for its massive investments in industries that accelerate climate change.

RBS-NatWest lent almost $16 billion to coal companies and exploration projects from May 2006 to April 2008, yet they claim that they are financing a transition to a low carbon economy.

RBS claims to be committed to a long-term transition to a low carbon economy yet continues to massively fund fossil fuel infrastructure. This will lock us into high emissions for many decades to come and jeopardise any attempts to stop runaway climate change.

Alex Fountain, Manchester Metropolitan University

The action followed on from a string of amazing actions on RBS-Natwest and E.On by Manchester People & Planet students, including a 50 person flash mob at a careers fair. These hard-hitting actions are part of the People & Planet network’s Ditch Dirty Development campaign against continued investment in fossil fuel extraction by RBS-Natwest and for a switch to renewable energy technologies.

Take action!

RBS have responded to these People & Planet actions, complaining that their graduate recruitment events were being ‘hijacked’. Graduate recruitment actions are clearly having an impact! They are a really important part of a longer process of engagement with the Royal Bank of Scotland, putting public pressure onto RBS to change its ways. You can read up on People & Planet’s meetings with the bank here and how you can respond to RBS too.