Fossil Fuels, Climate Change and Health

The burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) for energy is the main contributor to the rapidly rising level of carbon dioxide that is driving climate change.  Fossil fuel extraction, processing and burning also has other negative health effects on communities.  For example, air pollution kills around 7 million people a year (1 in 8 global deaths).

The health sector is beginning to join the fossil fuel divestment movement (removing investment funds from fossil fuel companies) in the interests of climate and health protection.  Health bodies that have already divested include the British Medical Association and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Medical Assurance Society, one of the leading providers of insurance and superannuation for medical and other professionals in New Zealand, has also divested from fossil fuels.

Our Work:

Letter to the NZ Medical Journal about NZ health sector divestment from fossil fuels

Media release, 20 September 2017: Health professionals welcome MAS's move to divest from fossil fuels

Other Resources:

Evidence about health impacts of fossil fuels here 

Resources for health professionals about fossil fuel divestment here

Why we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground - featured video from the guardian "Keep it in the ground" page.

Research Paper "The risk of hydraulic fracturing on public health in the UK and the UK's fracking legislation".  Environmental Sciences Europe, 2015.

‘Healthy Climate, Healthy People’


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