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Australia’s future doctors refuse to invest in fossil fuels 

20 Aug 2018

Media Release

Tuesday, 21st August

 The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA), the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students, has today announced its intention to divest from fossil fuels. 

Medical students have been a strong voice calling for action on climate change, and today, AMSA President Alex Farrell made the announcement in an address to medical students from across the country at the 2018 AMSA Global Health Conference in Melbourne. 

“As future doctors of Australia, we want to invest in a healthy future. We know that there is more to medicine than just curing illness once our patients are already sick. We need to take into account the upstream factors that are making them sick, and the way our society and our environment affects our health," Ms Farrell said.

Climate change has been called the biggest global health threat of this century. Australian medical students are passionate about taking tangible steps to reduce their impact on the environment.

Ms Farrell said, “As young people looking to the future, we feel a responsibility to promote sustainability and steer us away from the disastrous consequences of climate change on health."

 Other health professional organisations around the world are becoming leaders on this issue, such as the World Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association and the British Royal College of General Practitioners.  

Through AMSA Code Green, medical students in Australia have advocated for the mitigation of the impact of climate change on both the planet and on human health.  

Ms Katherine Middleton, one of the AMSA Code Green Project Coordinators, said, “While as individuals we try to do all we can to be more sustainable and reduce our personal footprint on the climate, there is more to do. Divesting from fossil fuels acknowledges the harms of climate change to health and shows our commitment to minimising them.

"We are making a clear statement by choosing to support ethical and sustainable alternatives. We hope that other organisations consider following suit."

 Earlier this year, representatives from all Australian medical schools unanimously supported a motion for AMSA to divest from fossil fuels. Furthermore, 85% of Australian medical student societies have either divested from fossils fuels or were considering doing so in the future.


Media Contact:

RJ Seastres

M 0423 648 688


Published: 20 Aug 2018