Medical organizations must divest from fossil fuels

By Adam LawDeidre DuffPatrick Saunders, John Middleton, & David McCoy

BMJ 2018363  doi:
Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5163

Rapid divestment would break our dangerous dependence on this industry

The UK’s largest medical royal college, the Royal College of General Practitioners, recently committed to fossil fuel divestment. It joins several other healthcare organisations that are divesting, including the American Medical Association, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Canadian Medical Association, the Australian Medical Students’ Association, the UK Faculty of Public Health, and the British Psychological Society.

Evidence that fossil fuels pose serious threats to public and planetary health is overwhelming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently reported that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented” action is required to limit global warming to 1.5°C.1 Exceeding this will have catastrophic effects on human health.

The fossil fuel industry has a long record of undermining climate science and continues to spread misinformation and obstruct climate action. Fossil fuels are a major contributor to air pollution, killing seven million people every year. WHO estimates that air pollution is responsible for one third of deaths from stroke… Read More