A 'girl band' of environmental activists dressed as 'oily bankers' protested outside the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) sponsored Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh yesterday morning (Tuesday 27 September 2011).
You can see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V26AyA8ZKGI.
The 'girl band' sang Jessie J's 'Price Tag' with lyrics altered to tell the
story of RBS's 'oily investments', which finance companies involved in some
of the world's most environmentally destructive activities, including oil
and gas exploration, the development of new coal plants and the mining of
tar sands in Canada, described as the most destructive industrial project on
Since the banking crisis in 2008, RBS has received more than £45 billion in
bail out money from the UK Government - the equivalent of £736 from every
man, woman and child in the UK. RBS is 83% owned by the British taxpayer and
yet the taxpayer has no say in the type of investments that RBS makes, and
the company continues to invest in projects and businesses that are fuelling
climate change and causing environmental destruction and human rights abuses.
Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:
"RBS's sponsorship of this conference is utterly hypocritical and completely
two-faced. These 'oily bankers' are keen to be seen promoting events like
this because it distracts attention from their major links to some of the
most environmentally damaging projects on earth, such as the Canadian tar
sands and deep water oil exploration in the Arctic.
"The 'Oil Bank of Scotland' is using our, the taxpayer's, money to finance
activities that are driving climate change, damaging the environment,
causing massive human rights abuses, and contributing to inequalities all
around the world. We want the bank to adopt strict ethical and environmental
investment criteria on how it uses our money. If it is serious about
investment in low carbon technologies, then that action must come hand in
hand with immediate dis-investment in dirty energy."
Earlier this month, RBS pulled out of conducting further financial deals
with cluster-bomb manufacturers after its investments in the controversial
industry were exposed. Friends of the Earth Scotland is calling on the bank
to continue the improvement of its investment practices and shift its
investment from polluting fossil fuel extraction to the development of safe,
clean, renewable sources of energy and electricity instead.