Green Investment Bank: good idea; here’s what you can do to make it even better

Green Investment Bank: good idea; here’s what you can do to make it even better

Date: 25 March 2010

The budget has been widely portrayed in the media as a ‘phoney’ budget or a ‘ballot box’ budget because of the limited amount of ‘real’ economic policy it contained. But Alistair Darling’s plan for a Green Investment Bank is a huge step forward in our Climate Justice and Clean Up the Banks campaigns. This move shows the government’s recognition that to achieve global climate justice the UK needs to invest urgently in renewable energy and ditch dirty power which is causing climate change that’s hitting the poorest people in the world.

But we still need to convince the Chancellor that although the Green Investment Bank is a good idea there is a huge stumbling block on the path to success: the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Treasury’s £2 billion for green investment is completely dwarfed by the billions of pounds from the taxpayers’ purse that RBS is pouring into oil, coal and gas companies and companies that are heavily engaged in tar sands operations in Canada.

Any plans for a Green Investment Bank need to include RBS, which since the bail out has reduced its lending to renewable energy companies but it’s been involved in $7.5 billion in finance to tar sands related companies; otherwise, as we pointed out in The Guardian, it’s just throwing good money after bad.

WDM is calling on the government to tell RBS to use our money for socially useful projects that are ethically and environmentally sound, and not to invest in tar sands related companies or mining corporations, like Vedanta that have been linked to human rights abuses in Indigenous communities in Canada and India respectively. 

Before the election, WDM is pushing this issue in several different way that you can get involved in:


  • If you haven’t already told the Chancellor what you think, take our online action now
  • On Monday, Channel 4 news is holding a Chancellors’ debate and are asking for questions from the public, why don’t you ask the future Chancellor whether he will continue to allow RBS to spend public money on companies that fuel human rights violations and climate catastrophe or whether they will clean up the banks?
  • WDM will be making noise at the RBS Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh in late April and across the country – why don’t you join your local group to add your voice to the call to stop RBS investing our money in blood oil

As ever, thank you for your support.