Despite vehemently protesting our calculations of £2.5 billion in Canadian tar sands finance[1] 2008-2010, the Royal Bank of Scotland is today reported by Reuters to be closely involved in the pro-Canadian tar sands lobby[2] in Europe.[3]

Europe is a key site of concern for those wanting to make a profit from tar sands extraction in the Alberta region of Canada because the carbon intensive process to make synthetic crude from tar sands may exclude it from European markets[4]. Reuters today covered Canadian lobbying in Brussels[5] and revealed RBS’ close involvement:

In late 2009, Ottawa set up a body it called the Pan-European Oil Sands Team, which included diplomats from embassies in London, Paris, Berlin, The Hague, Oslo, Brussels and Canada. It also included representatives from the environment and natural resources ministries, the Alberta provincial government, and oil companies including Shell, Statoil and Total.

Officials from the London-based Royal Bank of Scotland – a UK state-owned bank – and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), an energy industry group, rounded out the roster.

“The principal objective of the Oil Sands Team is to reframe the European debate on oil sands in a manner that protects and advances Canadian interests related to the oil sands and broader Canadian interests in Europe,” wrote one diplomat in a “Pan-European Oil Sands Advocacy Strategy” document dated May 2011.

Endnotes:
  1. £2.5 billion in Canadian tar sands finance: https://platformlondon.org/files/cashinginontarsandsweb.pdf
  2. closely involved in the pro-Canadian tar sands lobby: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/us-oil-sands-idUSBRE8490OL20120510
  3. [Image]: https://platformlondon.org/2012/05/rbs-outed-for-pro-tar-sands-lobbying/insidecover/
  4. exclude it from European markets: http://www.no-tar-sands.org/campaigns/ceta/
  5. Reuters today covered Canadian lobbying in Brussels: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/us-oil-sands-idUSBRE8490OL20120510