Loans to renewables dwarfed by oil and gas.

Research by Friends of the Earth Scotland published today (28 May 2012) reveals that RBS was involved in lending over $100bn to energy and power companies between October 2011 and March 2012, more than half of which was lent to oil and gas corporations. Only 5% went to funding renewable energy projects.

The new research comes only days after the UK Government announced ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions from UK electricity generation, including a reduced reliance on coal.

Davina Shiell, Interim Operational Director at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “RBS states that they fully understand the problem of climate change and are contributing to the solution. This research reveals the opposite – that they are continuing to bankroll socially and environmentally destructive projects around the world. RBS should clean up its act and re-direct its investments to clean technologies.”

The Friends of the Earth Scotland research reveals that just last December, RBS was involved in arranging loans for coal fired power stations in India worth $650m, and also arranged loans for Enel and Duke Energy, the 12th and 17th highest-capacity coal energy producers worldwide.

RBS loan activities directly oppose the Government’s efforts to become sustainable, and will increase the costs of the impacts of climate change on the UK in the future. As well as increasing carbon emissions, companies which RBS has recently been involved in funding have had been under fire for corruption and human rights abuses.

And while RBS was involved in arranging a loan package of $11.8bn to oil company ConocoPhillips, the company’s Chinese division was being sued by fishermen and farmers following on from a disastrous oil spill in Bohai Bay, Northern China. The spill spread over 6,200 square km of water and caused huge losses to tourism and aquatic farming. The Chinese Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs has accused ConocoPhillips of covering up the damage during critical periods after the spill in 2011.

ENDS

For media enquiries and a full list of energy and power loans involving RBS, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719 

Notes to Editors

1. Banktrack report: A Look into the Portfolios of the World’s Largest Banks
www.banktrack.org/download/bankrolling_climate_change/climatekillerbanks_final_0.pdf

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland’s has contributed to a number of reports on RBS’ fossil fuel investments including:

Make it Happen: From Oyal Bank of Scotland to Royal Bank of Sustainability (2011)
www.foe-scotland.org.uk/sites/www.foe-scotland.org.uk/files/rbs_bookletfinalv2.pdf

Cashing in on Tar Sands – RBS, UK Banks and Canada’s ‘Blood Oil (2010)
www.ienearth.org/docs/cashinginontarsandsweb.pdf

Dirty Money Corporate greenwash and RBS coal finance (2011)
www.platformlondon.org/dm.pdf

3. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk