November 13, 2017 applauds Medibank carbon divestment leadership

MELBOURNE, 13 November 2017 — Australia today applauded the decision by Medibank Private to divest from high carbon investments saying the company’s leadership is critical as Australian federal leadership wanes.

“At a time when we are seeing no federal leadership on climate change, Medibank’s decision to drop polluting, high carbon investments and instead invest in low carbon alternatives shows that the health sector is stepping up to fill the void,” said Blair Palese, CEO,

“By citing the health impacts of climate change as the driving reason for its decision, Medibank has show that moving from fossil fuels not only can be done, but must be done to protect customers, our environment and to mitigate risk.”

Medibank Private has already moved away from tobacco on health grounds and by now opting to act on climate change, the company has acknowledged the inherent risk in continuing to invest in companies that directly impact human health. Medibank’s commitment means that tens of millions of dollars will be moved from polluting coal, oil and gas and invested in low carbon alternatives.

“Last week a new Lancet report said that the human symptoms of climate change are unequivocal and potentially irreversible so Medibank’s timely decision to divest from carbon intensive industries comes at an important time internationally and for Australia,” Palese said. “Given the ineptitude of the Australian government to act on climate change and its continued support for new polluting coal projects such as the Adani coal mine in Queensland, we now need businesses in all sectors to step up and lead on the issue of our time.

“Seeing Medibank’s share price rise on issuing its divestment announcement shows that acting on climate and mitigating risk makes good business sense as well as good health sense” Palese said.

Globally more than US$5.7 trillion has be been divested from coal, oil and gas since launched the divestment movement in 2012.  The health sector and progressive funds and businesses have played a leadership role globally.