18 May 2016
Leading medical organisation Doctors for the Environment Australia will today close its accounts with Bank South Australia, because it’s a subsidiary of Westpac which is failing to walk the talk on climate change.
DEA says that while Bank SA might not have any direct relationship with fossil fuel organisations, South Australia’s largest financial institution is owned by Westpac which continues to support the coal, gas and oil sector that is largely responsible for climate change.
DEA says it’s hypocritical for Westpac to publicly accept the need to contain climate change, while at the same time directly fund fossil fuel industries.
Says DEA spokesperson Dr Doug Shaw, “It’s vital that doctors make a stand. As health professionals we have a duty of care to protect the community’s health. “
In its letter to the bank DEA states that:
Says Dr Shaw, “Only this week we have heard reports from a monitoring centre in Tasmania that atmospheric carbon-dioxide has exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time, while last month was the hottest April on record- the seventh month in a row to have broken global temperature records.
“These changes will impact on our health and stretch our resources, while continued use of fossil fuels will eventually lead to a hostile planet.
“Failure to address climate change is not an option, it is gross negligence because we have the means and the know-how to do something about it.
“There is a small window of opportunity to act, but the evidence shows it is closing fast and we must act now with great speed and urgency. “
Details of letter delivery
Group of DEA doctors and supporters will deliver the letter to the Bank SA headquarters at 97 King William St, Adelaide, at 1pm today
Dr Doug Shaw, 0408 679 347
Adelaide public health physician
Dr John Willoughby, 0499 078 938
Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Flinders University
Letter to Bank SA
Investing in Health report
Westpac statement on keeping temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius