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Royal Bank of Scotland back BTC pipeline

Friday 06 February 2004

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been revealed as a backer of the controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, despite being a participant of the Equator Principles green and ethical guidelines.

The move again calls into question the real value of the Equator Principles, following last week’s report by the BankTrack network that claimed leading banks are undermining environmental commitments in their global operations.

The BTC pipeline will run through numerous protected and sensitive locations in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. RBS is joined other fellow Equator Principles signatories including ABN Amro, Citigroup and ING in funding the development.

Jules Peck, WWF's global policy advisor said; "The Royal Bank of Scotland's funding of this pipeline totally undermines its commitment, as a signatory of the Equator Principles, to responsible funding practices. As a test case, the BTC pipeline would seem to expose the signing of these banks to the Principles as a public relations exercise which allows them to continue with business as usual whatever the risks to people and nature."

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