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In This Issue

Global | G7 – 100 Years Too Late

In his latest blog, HCWH co-founder and president Gary Cohen writes that “the recent decision by the G7 to end fossil fuel use by the end of the century is not a cause for celebration. It’s an example of feel-good climate procrastination. Climate change is already affecting the health of millions of people around the world, and if we don’t act now, it’s going to get worse.” Read more

Meanwhile, WHO’s Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan, writing in the context of the G7 Summit in Germany, argued pointedly for leaders to consider health implications in energy investments, to reduce investments in coal and a fossil fuel-based economy, to move to renewable sources of energy, and to build climate resilience into health systems. Read more.

Image courtesy of WHO

Global | World Health Assembly’s Air Pollution Resolution is Small First Step

By issuing a resolution at the World Health Assembly in May, the world's governments took an important step in recognizing air pollution as a major health threat, but they stopped short of addressing the most significant source of both outdoor air pollution and climate change: society's dependence on fossil fuels, particularly the combustion of coal for energy generation.  In response, HCWH and the Healthy Energy Initiative called for greater ambition to address the causes and consequences of air pollution. Read more.

Image courtesy of WHO

Global | IMF: Fossil Fuels Subsidies, Including Health Costs, Total $5.3 Trillion Annually

In large part by not paying for the health harms of air pollution and climate change, fossil fuel companies are subsidized at $5.3 trillion a year, according to a new paper by the International Monetary Fund. The Guardian reports that at 6.5% of global GDP, fossil fuel subsidies are higher than the total health spending by all the world’s governments combined. Read more


Turkey | Coal’s €3.6 Billion Annual “Unpaid Health Bill”

Coal power plant capacity in Turkey is set to almost double over the next four years and will add to already high health costs, according to a new report from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). HEAL estimates that exposure to coal fumes from existing plants in Turkey costs up to €3.6 billion per year, covering 2,876 premature deaths, 3,823 cases of chronic bronchitis in adults, 4,311 hospital admissions, and 637,643 lost working days per year. Read more.

Image courtesy of HEAL

US, UK, Australia | New Commitments for Health Sector Divestment

New divestment commitments have emerged from health sector organizations in the US, UK, and Australia, with each organization citing its health mission as a primary motivation and urging other health organizations to follow.
  • Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth, two leading organizations in environmental health, have together divested their fossil fuel investments. Read more.
  • The Royal Australian College of Physicians, representing more than 21,000 medical professionals in Australia and New Zealand, has divested its financial assets that are “directly and materially involved in fossil fuel activities.” Read more.
  • The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a world leader in public health research and postgraduate education, has sold off investments in coal companies and is continuing to review our other energy investments. Read more.
These announcements follow earlier commitments over the past year from the British Medical Association, HESTA (Australian health sector superannuation fund), and Gundersen Health System in the US.

Healthy Energy News Roundup

Reports and Publications

Health Effects from Coal Use in Energy GenerationDownload report
Addressing Climate Change in Health Care Settings. Download report
Global Green and Healthy Hospitals: Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Health Care Worldwide. A project of HCWH
Healthy Energy Initiative: Clean renewable energy for public health. A project of HCWH
HCWH is a member of the Global Climate and Health Alliance
Copyright © 2015 Health Care Without Harm, All rights reserved.

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