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Medical students welcome RACGP move towards sustainable investments

07 Sep 2018

Media Release

Friday 7th September


The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA), the peak representative body for Australia’s 17,000 medical students, welcomes the news that the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is developing an Environmental and Social Governance investment policy.


Two weeks ago, AMSA announced its intention to divest from fossil fuels, in recognition of the health impacts of climate change and the responsibility of future doctors to minimise them. This announcement is the culmination of a long-running campaign by AMSA Code Green, AMSA's climate change and health advocacy project.


Georgia Behrens, one of the AMSA Code Green Project Coordinators, said: "It is encouraging to see RACGP become another leader in the divestment movement within the healthcare sector of Australia.


"Health organisations in Australia must do all that they can to mitigate the impact of climate change, the biggest global health threat of this century. This is why AMSA has committed to divesting from fossil fuels."


The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the AMA, and AMSA are amongst a growing number of organisations to recognise the harms of climate change on the health of humans and the environment.


RACP announced its decision to divest from fossil fuels in 2015.  The AMA formalised its Guidelines on Ethical Investing in 2015, noting that it should not invest in companies whose products, services, or practices cause unacceptable environmental damage.


A consensus on the health impacts of climate change amongst professional leaders is key to moving the medical field towards a more sustainable future, and preparing doctors for new challenges in healthcare caused by climate change.



"As future doctors of Australia, we are encouraged to know that our present-day colleagues stand with us in actively taking measures to invest in a healthy future for all,” Ms Behrens said.


"It is time for all health organisations in Australia to make the same commitment."


AMSA President Alex Farrell said: “These commitments are the first step. Divesting from fossil fuels is an important move for medical students. We can see the disastrous impact that climate change will have on the health of our future patients, and feel a responsibility to be part of the solution.”

Media Contact:

RJ Seastres

0423 648 688


Published: 07 Sep 2018