PLATFORM Unravelling the CarbonWeb
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Unravelling the Carbon Web is a project by PLATFORM. We work to reduce the environmental and social impacts of oil corporations, to help citizens gain a say in decisions that affect them, and to support the transition to a more sustainable energy economy.


Royal Bank of Scotland

What can students do?

What will RBS do to your student loan?

RBS opening up the carbon frontier

Fuelling Climate Change

The Responsible Bank of Scotland?

What should RBS do?

Banksecrets - new website


Oil & Gas Projects:

Shell's Sakhalin II disaster

Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline

Opening Up the Carbon Frontier

RBS has manoeuvred itself into a position where it is intimately involved in forcing open the oil & gas frontier. As production in traditional oil regions peaks and begins to decline, oil and gas corporations are searching further afield, moving into the deep waters off West Africa, landlocked countries of Central Asia and the frozen Arctic. Opening up this new carbon frontier requires deeper drilling, longer pipelines and new technology to deal with adverse weather conditions.

As project costs soar, oil corporations are unwilling to finance expensive projects alone, particularly given the high risks. Shell's Sakhalin II project off Far Eastern Russia has already ballooned from $10bn to $22bn. Instead, the oil companies rely on banks for up to 90% of construction costs. BP's massive Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was two-thirds financed by public and private banks.

Future increases in oil & gas production will require significant capital, but will bring major profits. RBS is positioning itself to take advantage of this trend.

Many regions within the new oil and gas frontier are ecologically and politically fragile. Intensive exploration and production activities bring construction of massive infrastructure, an influx of thousands of employees into often sparsely populated areas and the introduction of contracts that over-ride local law. This frequently carries negative impacts on the environment and local lives. RBS cannot dissociate itself from the risks of pollution, abuse of human rights and increased repression that its financing creates.