World Medical Association calls for divestment from fossil fuels

The World Medical Association (WMA) has called on its members to divest from fossil fuels. It recommends them to begin a process of transferring their investments from energy companies whose primary business relies […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The World Medical Association (WMA) has called on its members to divest from fossil fuels.

It recommends them to begin a process of transferring their investments from energy companies whose primary business relies on extraction and generation from fossil fuels to those that use renewable energy.

It also suggests them to invest in companies with environmental principles consistent with UN standards and refrain from funding firms that do not adhere to legislation regarding environmental responsibility.

The association is calling on its members to continue educating health scientists, business, civil society and governments concerning the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It adds: “In many densely settled populated cities around the world, the fine dust measurable in the air is up to 50 times higher than the WHO [World Health Organisation] recommendations. A high volume of transport, power generated from coal and pollution caused by construction equipment are among the contributing factors.

“Evidence from around the world shows that the effects of climate change and its extreme weather are having significant and sometimes devastating impacts on human health. Fourteen of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred in the first 15 years of this century. The vulnerable among us including children, older adults, people with heart or lung disease and people living in poverty are most at risk from these changes.”

Last week, health groups representing 600,000 doctors, nurses and allied health professionals called for a rapid phase out of coal.

Climate change will be part of the discussions at the Energy Live 2016 conference in London next Thursday. There are limited free tickets for energy end users and university students.