April 18, 2016

Australia’s health institutions must scrap investments in oil, coal and gas: 350.org

350.org Australia welcomes the findings from the Investing in Health report, which calls on Australia’s medical professionals to quit their investments in coal, gas, and oil.

The report, which was launched today by Climate and Health Alliance and Doctors for the Environment Australia, outlined the huge health risks posed by climate change. By following the recommendations in the report, Australia’s 600,000 medical professionals would join a global movement worth more than US$3.4 trillion of organisations who have divested from fossil fuels.

“The health risks caused by climate change and the burning of fossil fuels globally are measurable and unacceptable. Here in Australia alone, air pollution causes an estimated 3,000 premature deaths every year,” Isaac Astill, 350.org Australia’s Divestment Campaigner said.

“This critical report clearly outlines the responsibility Australia’s medical professionals have to call on health institutions such as the Australian Medical Association to divest from an industry that is causing harm to people here and around the world right now.

“Australia’s medical community has a strong legacy of protecting public health – tobacco is on the backfoot thanks to their efforts. With the health risks from fossil fuels only getting worse, it would be incongruous for health professionals to not take strong and bold action to combat the climate crisis and burning of fossil fuels.

“With coal and gas investments becoming increasingly risky, divestment also makes sound financial sense.”

There are more than 500 institutions worldwide, representing US$3.4 trillion who have divested from fossil fuels. They include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Australian Capital Territory, City of Newcastle, and the Universities of Oxford and Stanford.

Media contact: Cambell Klose 0490 436 948