The Health, Moral, and Financial Reasons Why the Health Sector Should Divest from Coal
The call for the health sector to divest from fossil fuels keeps getting louder. We’ve discussed the public health argument before – since carbon pollution is already causing serious health impacts, fossil fuel investments go against the obligation of health professionals to protect the public. But as Gary Cohen, president of our Climate for Health partner Health Care Without Harm, points out in this white paper, there are financial and moral arguments as well.
With the price of coal and oil plummeting, fossil fuel investments make little financial sense. And if our faith directs us to care for those most vulnerable, then divestment is the proper moral response. Coal investment is simply incompatible with the values most of us share.
Gary Cohen, President and Founder of Health Care Without Harm
There have been times in our history when we decided certain practices were no longer compatible with our values and sense of who we are as a people.
We stopped the above-ground testing of nuclear weapons because we realized it was exposing people to dangerous levels of radiation. We divested from South Africa and removed the social license of the Apartheid regime because it was fundamentally unjust.
Now we are reaching a societal consensus that coal is so destructive to our health and the environment that it is time to divest from it and plan for its phase out. This action is important in a broader health context because climate change is recognized as the most serious public health threat of our generation.