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Environmentalists expose RBS toxic mountain investment

By Friends of the Earth Scotland | Edinburgh, May 14 2013

RBS has financed corporations involved in Mountaintop Removal, one of the most drastic methods of coal mining, to the tune of $362.5m despite acknowledging the devastating impacts of the process, Friends of the Earth Scotland can reveal.

Mountaintop Removal literally blasts the tops off mountains to access thin layers of coal. Communities in the Appalachian Mountains in the USA where the technique has been pioneered report high incidences of severe health problems linked to the toxins released from the coal.

Paul Daly, Corporate Accountability Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland said:

"Despite the greenwash, RBS are still financing corporations that carry out devastating practices like Mountaintop Removal, threatening the local environment and fuelling climate change globally.

"The scale of these operations is enormous with over 500 mountains levelled to date. This is like Scotland sacrificing all of its Munros to the fossil fuel industry.

"In the Appalachian Mountains explosives equivalent to that used in one Hiroshima bomb are detonated each week.

"Scotland has plentiful renewable energy resources and RBS as a publicly owned bank should lead the way in financing the transition to a true green economy."

Paul Corbit Brown, Campaigner from Keeper of the Mountain said:

"There is nothing ethical about mountaintop removal.

"It permanently destroys air, water, soil, communities and people's health. It has brought nothing but poverty and sickness to the communities in my home state."


Notes to Editors
1. RBS finance mountaintop removal by $362m . Read our case study at
2. Between 2007 and 2009, RBS led the underwriting of more than $7.5bn worth of loans to multinational oil companies mining tar sands in Canada
3. Between 2010 and 2012, RBS helped finance fossil fuel companies (underwriting share and bond issues, and financing loans) to the tune of £35.5 billion
4. Between 2005 and 2011 RBS bankrolled coal mining and power generation companies with £9.4 billion of finance.
5. RBS previously exposed for financing tar sands and is still pumping money into tar sand development
6. most recently RBS has funding the Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline to the tune of $131.25 million
7. RBS ranked 8th biggest global investor in 20 biggest coal mining operations
8. RBS should be financing the transition to a true green economy - one that does not include finance for false renewable solutions like biomass or biofuel projects
9. 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.

For pictures:


For media enquiries, please contact:
Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2715


Friends of the Earth Scotland Website

RBS was founded in 1727 and is one of the major UK banks. RBS has 40 million customers using the financial services of over 30 brands, including NatWest, Direct Line, Churchill,…

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