The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November when the twenty-sixth United Nations climate conference (COP26) takes place in the city. The conference will bring together representatives of 197 countries with the aim of agreeing measures to address the global climate emergency.
Scotland’s largest bank, NatWest Group (RBS), is one of the principal sponsors of COP26. NatWest says it is “determined to be a leading bank on addressing climate change” and is working to reduce the climate impact of its financing activity.
The exclusion of companies that produce nuclear weapons must be part of NatWest’s climate strategy.
Nuclear weapons production is energy intensive and environmentally damaging, as our recent report shows. The use of nuclear weapons has devastating environmental and climate consequences.
The detonation of just one nuclear bomb would generate a fireball and shockwave that would destroy everything within the blast zone and spread radioactive contamination far beyond it. A nuclear exchange using less than 1% of the world’s nuclear weapons would alter the Earth’s climate, leading to mass starvation.
The climate impacts of a full-scale nuclear war could make human existence impossible.
NatWest Group held investments worth £2 billion in 15 nuclear weapons producers between 2018 and 2020. This includes loans provided to BAE Systems, Thales and General Dynamics – major arms companies that are playing a key role in the current nuclear arms race.
In March this year, Don’t Bank on the Bomb Scotland and ICAN sent an open letter to the NatWest CEO, Alison Rose, which highlighted the environmental and humanitarian harm caused by nuclear weapons. The letter called on the bank to comprehensively exclude nuclear weapons producers from investment and was co-signed by the Church of Scotland, Unison Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland and dozens of other organisations.
NatWest Group cannot claim to be a leader in addressing climate change while continuing to finance the nuclear weapons industry.
Join our campaign to #ChangeNatWest. Tell the bank to divest from nuclear weapons producers now: https://investinginchange.uk/action/natwest-2/