Monday, 1 March 2010

Gibson questions RBS over renewable investment

News release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has urged RBS to invest in Scottish renewable energy as opposed to environmentally unfriendly practices such as oil extraction from tar sand in Canada.

Mr Gibson was talking as a report by Friends of the Earth entitled 'Cashing in on Tar Sands - RBS, UK Banks and Canada's Blood Oil' highlights the dangers to the environment that such sand tar extraction has.

RBS involvement in this venture, which sees large areas of tar sands in Alberta being mined for oil, stands at £4.9 billion worth of investment over three years.

Mr Gibson has subsequently contacted RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester to ask if they have a similar commitment to investing in renewable energy in Scotland. He has asked for a list of all the investments RBS has made in the emerging Scottish renewable energy and any planned for future investment.

"Scotland has once in a generation chance to be the leader in wave, tidal and wind energy. Investment in this sustainable sector has many benefit for , people, communities, environment and there would also be a financial reward to investors as well. However I have grave misgivings about RBS and their lack of investment in this home grown industry that has so much potential."

"It is galling to see RBS investing billions on a highly environmentally dubious venture in Canada, whilst relatively ignoring the clean, sustainable, profitable future on its doorstep. I want to know exactly how much it has invested in renewable energy in Scotland and in how many projects. Scotland lost the lead in wind power because of lack of private investment. The attitude of RBS is worrying because it is reminiscent of those times. In Scotland we need all parties to work together to make sure that renewable energy is backed. RBS has a vital role to play in this and I feel they could be doing a lot more."

"The Co-operative bank have contributed money to the Beaver Creek Cree Nation who are mounting a legal challenge to the sand and tar extraction in Alberta. I would rather see RBS investing in ethical practices which benefit the population of Scotland as opposed to this highly dubious practice which it is funding in Canada."



An article on tar sand extraction controversy

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