Eco warriors will lay siege to RBS in bid to halt 'climate crime' deals
CLIMATE change protesters are to target taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland over its involvement in the financing of fossil fuel companies.
• RBS is being targeted by activists like this over its funding of fossil fuel companies, in particular 'tar sand' oil extraction in Canada Picture: PA
Thousands of activists, who in previous years have set their sights on Heathrow Airport expansion, the City of London and Kingsnorth power station in Kent, are set to take action against the bailed-out bank.
The location of the main protest action has not been announced, but organisers from Camp for Climate Action (CCA) have not ruled out a week-long summer camp in Scotland, using it as a base to organise "satellite" protests.
RBS is also facing a protest in Edinburgh next Wednesday when it holds its AGM. A further 14 protests will be held throughout the UK on the same day, and there will also be UK-wide protests on Saturday.
Activists claim RBS is the UK bank most heavily involved with financing fossil fuel companies around the world and is the UK bank most involved in investing in "tar sands", a particularly carbon-intensive form of oil extraction in Canada.
CCA spokeswoman Sonia Tiller said: "The government refuses to do anything to prevent RBS from pouring billions of taxpayers' money into incredibly destructive fossil fuel projects around the world.
"So it's up to ordinary people to come together again and stop these climate crimes being committed, just like we did at Kingsnorth and Heathrow."
The RBS AGM will be attended by Canadian Eriel Deranger, from the Indigenous Environment Network, who aims to question executives about the impact of their investment in projects affecting her home and community.
She said: "I feel it's important to come to Scotland to be a part of the RBS AGM to inform people about how their money is being spent. UK taxpayers' money is being used to destroy my people, my community and my traditional lands. RBS is financing the largest and most destructive industrial project on the planet using your dollars."
The protest outside the Edinburgh International Conference Centre is being organised by a coalition of campaigners, including Friends of the Earth Scotland and People & Planet, Britain's biggest student campaign network.
A spokesman for the bank said: "Lending and other business is not tied to specific projects and the energy companies involved range from oil and gas companies to those focused primarily on renewable energy. We are committed to conducting our business in a sustainable manner. We assess lending, investment and services decisions through our defined risk and credit committee procedures and take into account relevant social, ethical and environmental issues."
A police spokesman said: "We're aware of the group's intention to protest at the RBS AGM. Our policy would always be geared towards facilitating peaceful protest."
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Friday 24 May 2013
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