Doctors across Canada have decided "enough is enough". It is no use for health professionals to continue treating the symptoms climate change alone when these very symptoms can be addressed with preventative action. For this reason, the Canadian Medical Association has decided to divest from fossil fuels and instead invest in renewable energy companies. “This is a show of leadership, a political step; it’s not a financial step,” said Dr. John Haggie of Gander, Newfoundland in the Globe and Mail article below. “We either believe in this principle or we don’t.” Where does your health organization stand on climate issues? Have you taken an active role in working toward solutions? Climate for Health was created with the very purpose of guiding health leaders like you through the process of becoming climate leaders. Join us to find out how.
By André Picard I Aug. 26, 2015
The Canadian Medical Association will divest its holdings in fossil-fuel companies, a move doctors hope will send a powerful symbolic message that climate change is an urgent health concern.
“Given the health impacts of fossil fuels, we have to take a stand,” Courtney Howard, a board member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and a physician practising in Yellowknife, said in addressing the CMA’s general council meeting on Tuesday.
She likened the move to earlier decisions by the organization to divest out of tobacco companies.
The move by the CMA is part of an accelerating trend of high-profile institutions such as universities and faith-based organizations to take a stand on climate change by pulling their investments out of oil and gas companies.
During the debate at the CMA general council in Halifax on Wednesday, there was significant opposition to divestment, with the primary concern being the impact to the group’s bottom line.
The meeting heard, however, that the move will have very little financial impact on the CMA or its members. It has only about $29-million in its reserves, and $1.8-million of those investments are in fossil-fuel companies. That money will instead be invested in companies that work in the renewable energy field, such as solar and wind power.
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