Media Release: DEA welcomes RACP’s announcement to divest from fossil fuels

5 June 2015

Doctors for the Environment Australia welcomes the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) announcement this week that it will divest investments in companies involved in fossil fuel activities from its  $90 million investment portfolio.

The RACP trains, educates and advocates on behalf of more than 21,000 physicians and trainees across Australia and New Zealand. It represents more than 34 medical specialties including paediatrics & child health, cardiology, respiratory medicine, neurology, oncology and public health medicine, occupational & environmental medicine, palliative medicine, sexual health medicine, rehabilitation medicine and addiction medicine.

DEA’s Divestment Co-ordinator Dr Helen Redmond says,  “As one of the largest medical organisations in the country, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) decision to put their investments in line with their aspirations is commendable.

“The decision recognises that fossil fuels -coal, oil and natural gas- which generate electricity for our homes, businesses and vehicles- are the principal cause of climate change and air pollution, and pose significant risks to health and community wellbeing.”

The current trajectory of emissions growth and global warming will have disastrous health effects for many, including:

  • More severe heatwaves and fires, storms and floods, which can result in direct trauma as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression and increased incidence of suicide.
  • Changes in vector- borne disease distribution, including malaria, dengue fever and Ross River virus.
  • Increased rates of food and water-borne infections..
  • Malnourishment due to the effects of climate change on water supplies and agriculture in many global regions

The RACP’s announcement can be found here

About DEA

DEA is a national organisation of medical doctors that raises awareness of the link between health and the environment.

It’s supported by a scientific committee consisting of:

Professor Stephen Boyden AM; Professor Peter Doherty AC, FRS, FAA; Professor Bob Douglas AO; Professor Dave Griggs; Professor Michael Kidd AM; Professor David de Kretser AC; Professor Steve Leeder AO; Professor Ian Lowe AO; Professor Robyn McDermott; Professor Peter Newman; Sir Gustav Nossal, AC, CBE, FAA, FRS; Professor Hugh Possingham; Professor Lawrie Powell AC; Professor Fiona Stanley AC; Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM; Norman Swan; Professor David Yencken AO

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