BBC Home > BBC News > Scotland

Planet group protest against RBS

3 April 09 15:27 GMT

Climate change campaigners have demanded the Royal Bank of Scotland "clean up" by investing in renewable energy projects.

A group of about 20 campaigners from the student organisation People and Planet staged a noisy demonstration in Edinburgh as RBS held its AGM.

Its members were calling on the bank to help create a "low-carbon economy" and abandon investment in fossil fuels.

To make their point the protesters dressed up as cleaners.

Donning brightly coloured pinafores, headscarves and rubber gloves and carrying feather dusters and brushes they chanted outside the meeting.

As shareholders entered the Edinburgh International Conference Centre the group chanted: "Come clean, go green" and "Clean up RBS, we don't want climate mess".

Police officers were outside the conference centre watching the demonstration.

But the protest remained peaceful, in contrast to the scenes from London earlier this week which saw windows smashed and protesters break into an RBS building.

People and Planet's Hannah Schling said: "The public have cleaned up RBS's finances, whilst the bank continues to mess up our climate.

"The most toxic of RBS's assets are their fossil fuel investments.

"We need them to focus on investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

"This would secure tens of thousands of jobs as well as contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy, desperately needed to tackle climate change."

Shareholders' anger

Fellow protester Ben Miller, from Edinburgh, said: "We're calling on RBS to stop funding dirty projects in oil and gas and coal and move towards a low-carbon economy."

He added: "The government have said they are going to vote against the pension deal for Sir Fred Goodwin but the government should also vote against the fossil fuel projects RBS have been at the forefront of financing".

The campaigners demonstrated outside the conference centre for about two hours before dispersing.

After their demonstration ended a Lothian and Borders Police spokesman confirmed there had been no arrests at the event.

Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders were attending its annual meeting, which started at 1300 BST, after a catastrophic year for the bank.

During the meeting shareholders voiced their anger over the bank's downfall.

New chairman Sir Philip Hampton faced calls for the previous board, which oversaw £24bn of losses last year, to be jailed.

Related BBC sites

*