Celebrities and green groups boycott Climate Week over fossil fuels
A coalition of green groups and famous faces have pulled out of activities supporting Climate Week, which starts today (March 21).
The groups, which include comedian and impersonator Alastair McGowan, are angry over the Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) sponsorship of the event.
A number of campaign groups, including PLATFORM, Friends of the Earth Scotland, People & Planet and the World Development Movement, have this morning published a report examining in detail RBS's funding of coal power.
The report Dirty Money, Corporate greenwash and RBS coal finance claims that in three years, RBS has been involved in providing finance worth nearly €8 billion to the world's biggest coal mining and coal power generating companies - more than any other UK bank.
Mr McGowan, who has withdrawn his support of the event, said the sponsorship made a mockery of what Climate Week as trying to achieve.
He said: "Climate Week is celebrating the successes of ordinary citizens and businesses in bringing down their carbon emissions at the same time as its main sponsor, RBS, is doing more than any other bank to undermine those self-same efforts.
"It's high time RBS put its money where its mouth is, and stopped bankrolling the fossil fuel industry."
Report co-author and PLATFORM campaigner, Mel Evans, said: "For RBS to cynically appropriate the language around climate change action as a means of detracting attention and criticism from the promotion of climate destructive industries and practices is totally reprehensible.
"You can't pretend to be part of the climate solution while you are involved in providing almost €8 billion to the coal industry."
A spokesman for Climate week said: "Thousands of businesses, charities, schools, councils and others will run events during Climate Week on 21-27 March 2011.
"They will show what can be achieved, share ideas and encourage thousands more to act during the rest of the year.
"Climate Week has support from every part of society - from the prime minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the National Trust, Girlguiding UK to the CBI, the Big Lottery Fund to the National Association of Head Teachers."