THE HEALTH sector should phase out investments in fossil fuels because of the health threats of air pollution and climate change, campaigners have claimed.
Medical institutions should follow the lead of the British Medical Association (BMA), which last year voted in favour of ending investments in the fossil fuel industry, and “divest” from coal, oil and gas, health campaign groups have argued.
A report from the groups points to the 29,000 premature deaths caused by air pollution in the UK each year, and longer term health impacts of climate change, such as more heat-related deaths, injury and death in extreme weather events and the spread of tropical diseases.
As a result, investing in fossil fuels is incompatible with health organisations’ moral and professional responsibilities to address these health impacts, the groups argue.
Institutions should take their investments out of fossil fuels, as the sector did from tobacco, the report said.
The call is made by a coalition of health professional and medical student organisations including the Climate and Health Council, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, Medact, Healthy Planet UK and Medsin.