June 3, 2015

Royal Australasian College of Physicians Invests in Health by Divesting from Fossil Fuels

SYDNEY, 3rd JUNE: 350.org Australia applauds the decision* of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to divest all fossil fuel companies from its $90 million investment portfolio.

The RACP is Australasia’s largest specialist medical college, representing over 21,000 physicians, paediatricians, and trainees in 25 medical specialties across Australia and New Zealand.

Announcing the decision, RACP President Nicholas Talley said:

“Since the RACP is a health organisation with an objective of improving the health of our population, divestment is an important action that leads to reduced carbon outputs and achievement of our health objective — to ensure better health outcomes for our patients into the future.”

Responding to the announcement, 350.org Australia campaigns director Charlie Wood said:

“Climate change is the greatest threat to human health and the burning of fossil fuels is its number one contributor. Divesting from fossil fuels is therefore a powerful way to protect the health of both people and our planet. By taking this action, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians is showing commendable leadership.

In 2009, the UCL- Lancet Commission published a report stating that climate change is “the greatest threat to human health of the 21st  century.”  The World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, himself a doctor, last year called for divestment from fossil fuels, echoing President Obama, the International Energy Agency and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, among others.

In divesting from fossil fuels, the RACP is in good company – joining over 220 public institutions who have divested billions from fossil fuels over the past 2 years. These include the British Medical Journal, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stanford University, the Guardian Media Group and others. Last week, Norway’s Parliament recommended that their $900 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund divest from coal companies. 

*The RACP’s 3rd June announcement can be found here.

For 350 Australia comment: Charlie Wood  0427 485 233