Thursday, 10 October 2013

Scandalous Edinburgh!

Yesterday I went on a 2-hour walking tour around Edinburgh, organised by the World Development Movement as part of the 2013 Edinburgh World Justice Festival, which took us to a series of locations around the city linked to the fossil fuel and finance industries, explaining their links to government and responsibility for contributing significantly to climate change. All in all, it was a very informative and entertaining walk around Edinburgh's historical finanical district, and I highly recommend going along if you get the opportunity.


We started in St. Andrew Square, visiting the numerous sites around the square which are linked to finance and fossil fuels, and particularly a number of banks which are involved with bankrolling carbon-intensive, dirty energy projects. A particular highlight was the inside of the building of the Royal Bank of Scotland on the square, which was incredibly beautiful and ornately decorated.



Next, we visited a few sites along George Street and Hanover Street, including HSBC, the biggest UK provider of investment banking services to fossil fuel companies.


A short taxi ride later, we came to Festival Square and the headquarters of Cairn Energy, an oil exploration company which was the target of a Greenpeace occupation in 2012 because of its activities drilling for oil in the Arctic region.


We finished up by walking along the pedestrianised new Exchange district and back around to Festival Square, which included a couple of stopping points where inventive methods such as chalk drawing and "carbon bubble-blowing" were used to explain the ownership of carbon resources by the finance industry and its implications for meeting necessary climate targets.


However, it wasn't all doom and gloom! The WDM tour guides also took us to Triodos and the Green Investment Bank as examples of how financial institutions can choose to invest in sustainable projects instead of fossil fuels.



If you're interested at all in climate change, human rights and the way in which the financial system works, I highly recommend going on this tour. You can find out more information about it on the WDM website, with two more tours happening later this month on Wednesday 16 October and Saturday 26 October.

1 comment:

  1. If I was in the area it sounds like something I would've gone to... oh, well! One day maybe :)

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