Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

British Medical Association Becomes World's First Health Organization to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Energy

Divesting from fossil fuels not only makes sense, but it's in vogue. Students are advocating for it, colleges are doing it, and now doctors are joining the party.

As a result of its recent annual meeting, the British Medical Association will divest its fossil fuel investments. The vote makes the BMA the first health organization in the world to make such a decision.

"Reducing greenhouse gases will therefore have health and economic benefits, but health aspects and impacts are less well identified and accepted by the general public," said Dr Jane Richards said, according to the BMA. "It is now time to reduce our reliance our reliance on [fossil fuels]."

The British Medical Association has become the first health organization in the world to turn its back on support dirty energy. Photo credit: Creative Commons/ Jamie Potter/via TckTckTck

The decision was encouraged by the BMA's Retired Members Forum, along with MedActClimate and Health Council and others. Motions from councils and divisions within the BMA all read similarly to the South Central Regional Council's: 

  1. Transfer its investments from energy companies whose primary business relies upon fossil fuels to those providing low-carbon energy sources
  2. Transfer to an electricity supplier who is “100% renewable."

Environmental advocates welcome the support of medical professionals in the fight against climate change.

“Climate change has profound implications for human health, as does the air pollution produced by fossil fuels. By adding the voice of health professionals, this decision will add considerable momentum to the international movement for divestment from fossil fuels,” Medical student and Healthy Planet UK Coordinator Isobel Braithwaite said, according to MedAct.

In addition to the University of Dayton's recent decision, the BMA follows in the footsteps of more than 27 cities, 29 religious institutions and 17 major investment foundations when it comes to fossil fuel divestment, according to environmental organization TckTckTck.

“We need a completely a radically different and sustainable pattern of energy production and consumption," said David McCoy, public health doctor and chair of Medact. "Shifting money away from the fossil fuel industry is an important step in that direction.

"In the same way that ethical investors choose not to profit from tobacco and arm sales, the health community worldwide is correctly calling for divestment from another set of harmful activities.”

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less
A woman walks to her train in Grand Central Terminal as New York City attempts to slow down the spread of coronavirus through social distancing on March 27. John Lamparski / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
polaristest / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Spinach is a true nutritional powerhouse, as it's rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Jeff Turrentine

From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.

Read More Show Less