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Climate activists to protest outside RBS headquarters

Friends of the Earth Scotland said the bank must stop financing fossil fuels projects.

RBS: Protest will coincide with bank's AGM.
RBS: Protest will coincide with bank's AGM. © HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

Climate activists will protest outside the Royal Bank of Scotland's headquarters to urge the institution to stop financing fossil fuel projects.

The protest, organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland, coincides with the bank's annual general meeting at its base in Gogarburn, Edinburgh.

It comes after a recent report found that RBS has invested over $4bn (£3.1m) into fossil fuels since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.

Although the bank has cut back on investing in fossil fuels and adopted new, greener, energy policies recently campaigners say it must do more.

The research was conducted by BankTrack, an international body that monitors banking global investments.

Lise Masson from BankTrack said: "As we witness the increasing occurrence and violence of climate impacts around the world, we need banks to take much bolder steps to address climate change.

"RBS has the opportunity to step forward and lead the way out of fossil fuel finance in the UK. That means ending financing for all new fossil fuels, and starting to phase out existing finance for this climate-wrecking industry."

Ric Lander, divestment campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, added: "Burning of fossil fuels is the key driver of climate change. By continuing to finance businesses who want to extract, produce or sell fossil fuels, RBS is exacerbating the climate crisis and profiting from this destruction.

"In recognition of the environmental damage that oil, gas and coal companies are causing pension funds, universities, and local and national governments are divesting from fossil fuels apace. RBS appears to have begun this journey, but the lack of clarity over the bank's direction is alarming.

"Having plunged the UK into the financial crisis, RBS needs to make a clear and bold plan to divest from the climate crisis."

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