‘Climate Week’, sponsored by… RBS?!

Dear greenwash-detectors,

We’re spending a lot of time gearing up for the BP and RBS AGMs next month, liaising with First Nations in Canada and those affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill, planning public events, working with a whole range of different groups, and figuring out what we can do at the two AGMs to really hold those responsible for such wanton destruction to account.

But we keep getting distracted. Because next week (21st March) is Climate Week. And it’s being sponsored by RBS. Which we think is absolutely outrageous. So here’s a short message with info about all these things:

1. Climate Week: vote for the Greenwash Coup of the Year!
2. BP & RBS AGMs – events and activities
3. CETA still needs beating – take action now

Also, we’ve finally sorted out a way to donate through our website (thanks to Daniel, our wily web wizard). If you like what the UK Tar Sands Network is doing and want to support us, please consider giving us a donation, however small. We promise to make every penny we get go an extremely long way!

Love not corporate sponsorship,

Emily, Sue and Jess

1. Climate Week: vote for the Greenwash Coup of the Year!

Having a week in which everyone takes climate action is of course a Good Thing. Every week should be like that. But if you invite RBS, Tesco and EDF to sponsor it and then plaster their logos over every piece of material you send into schools, businesses and communities, what kind of message does that send about the causes of and solutions to climate change?

A confusing one, at the very least. A misleading one, definitely. A dangerous one? We think so. RBS is responsible for more carbon emissions than any other UK bank. It is one of the leading financers of fossil fuel projects around the world, and is the 7th largest global financer of tar sands companies. As a result, its reputation has taken a bit of a battering lately. So Climate Week is the ideal way for it to buy itself a better green rep whilst still continuing to destroy the planet.

Well, we’ve noticed this audacious move, and so have lots of other people. Here’s a Guardian article which quotes us, a blistering blog from Danny Chivers, a spot-on statement from Artists Project Earth, and an awesome, slightly tongue-in-cheek poll from People & Planet. We wouldn’t presume to tell you who you should vote for in P&P’s ‘Greenwash Coup of the Year 2011’ awards (such a strong field, after all), but you can probably guess who we went for!

2. BP & RBS AGMs – events and activities

April sees both BP’s and RBS’s Annual General Meetings, and we plan to be at both, with some of our First Nations partners from Canada. More info soon on a whole series of events and actions you can get involved in, but here are a few definite dates for your diaries:

19th March (next Saturday) – Shareholder activism training day

Check it out on Facebook! It will feature a planning session for the BP AGM. There are still spaces and we would love to see you there. RSVP to [email protected] or 020 7403 7800.

12th April – BP event and First Nations speaker tour launch

Big public meeting in London, an opportunity to hear from a wide range of critics of BP, and to meet our First Nations visitors in advance of the BP AGM. If you would like to help us publicise it or can help on the night, please email [email protected] and we will love you forever.

14th April – BP AGM, Excel Centre, London

Lots of us have bought shares and are planning what we’re going to be doing inside. It’s not too late for you to join us! If you want to buy a share, email [email protected] and we’ll connect you with our broker…There will be a London Rising Tide presence outside the AGM – so also let us know if you don’t have a share but would like to join us there.

15th April – CETA International Day of Action

We will be taking action in London (sorry, non-Londoners) simultaneously with actions in Canada and, we hope, Brussels, to stop the tar sands trade talks. Keep the day free if you can and watch this space for more info.

19th April – RBS AGM, Edinburgh

We are working with a group of organisations including WDM Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland to organise a ‘people’s AGM’ in advance of the official AGM. Get in touch if you can help organise things up in

3. CETA still needs beating – take action now

We really need to multitask at the moment, because tar sands threats are rearing up from many different directions. If you haven’t taken our e-action to keep Europe out of the Tar Sands, please do so now. It only takes a minute and it’s really important. Thank you!

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