Climate protesters superglued themselves together inside the London headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland on Tuesday to demonstrate about what they said was the bank’s investment in fossil fuels.
The protesters were from a Climate Camp set up in southeast London by environmentalists pledging to take direct action against the government, companies and financial institutions that they blame for failing to do enough to tackle global warming.
“A bank that is 70 percent-owned by the government should not be investing so heavily in fossil fuels … it completely contradicts the government’s policy of reducing carbon emissions,” protest spokeswoman Jesse Harris said.
“Now we own 70 percent of the bank, it is time to use that ownership and turn the Royal Bank of Scotland into the ‘Royal Bank of Sustainability’.”
Harris said six people got inside to form the glued blockade, several people were on ladders outside, and scores more were on the streets near the building in the City of London financial district.
The British government took a 70 percent stake in RBS as part of a taxpayer-funded bailout during the credit crunch.
RBS said it was aware environmental concerns were an important area of focus.
“RBS recognizes the reality of climate change and fully supports the transition toward a low carbon economy,” RBS said in a statement.
“Over recent years we have been a leading arranger of finance to the renewable energy sector and take our responsibility to play our part in this seriously.”
London police said there had been no arrests so far. Officers were at the scene and working with security staff.
Police said around 80 people were also demonstrating at the central London tourist site Trafalgar Square in what was believed to be a related protest.
(Reporting by Alison Williams; Editing by Keith Weir and Rupert Winchester)