Climate Week

Climate Week 2011 logo

RBS - making the climate weak!

Communities, organisations and individuals across the UK are being asked to hold events, discussions, workshops and imaginative stunts to showcase Britain’s ambition and confidence to tackle climate change. Climate Week organisers want to

“shine a spotlight on the many positive steps already being taken in workplaces and communities across Britain to inspire millions more people.”

So do we… and so far hundreds of companies, organizations and individuals have signed up to support Climate Week but can you guess who the key sponsor of this event might be?

Yes, it’s RBS - the UK bank most responsible for supporting fossil fuel companies and creating climate change!

Until recently RBS sold itself as the ‘oil and gas bank’. It is the UK bank that has been most heavily involved in financing the global coal industry and the companies mining tar sands in Canada. Tar sands have been described as the “most devastating project on earth” producing three times more carbon emissions than conventional oil and having devastating impacts on indigenous First Nations communities and the local environment.

Royal Bank of Scotland Greenwash

Front cover of 'The Oil and Gas Bank' report
Text from the Climate Week website. Hover over the links to spot the greenwash

“RBS is committed to supporting the transition to a low carbon economy. As well as working to reduce our own operational footprint, our business divisions are developing products and services that support our customers to reduce their emissions and invest in sustainable technologies. RBS recently achieved the joint highest score globally among banks in the 2010 Carbon Disclosure Project, which is the world’s largest independent database of corporate climate change information. RBS was also ranked in joint 9th place by the Carbon Disclosure Project amongst the world’s 500 biggest companies overall for its combined scores for both performance and disclosure.

Over the last five years, RBS has lent more to wind power projects than any other type of energy project. We are focussed on supporting the renewable energy sector in the UK. As part of this commitment, we were recently selected to participate in a scheme supported by the European Investment Bank to lend up to £1.4 billion to onshore wind projects in the UK over the next three years.

We recognise our responsibility to assess the social and environmental impacts of the projects and clients we finance and we have a strong governance structure in place – including a Board-level Sustainability Committee – to address these and other sustainability issues across the Group.”

Take action

We’re working together with a number of organisations who work to tackle the root causes of climate change. Our aim is to highlight the hypocrisy of RBS’ sponsorship of Climate Week and highlight the real solutions needed: a complete transition from RBS’ support from the fossil fuel industry to renewable energy.