Doctors protest over fossil fuel investments

Doctors protest over fossil fuel investments

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:02am 13th September 2019.

Dorset medics have called on the county-wide £3billion pension fund to cut fossil fuel-based investments from the scheme.

They say it will be good for the health of their patients and the planet – and might also result in better returns for 71,000 Dorset public sector pensioners in the scheme.

Those in charge of investment decisions for the Dorset County Pension Fund say it is already moving in the direction of more ethical investments and will review its strategies in the months to come.

Doctors address committee
Members of the pensions committee listen to concerns from doctors.

The pensions committee, which met at county hall, Dorchester gave Doctors Rebecca Smith and Ruth Arnold a sympathetic hearing, but were not able to commit to the 2021 timetable they wanted.

They had come to the committee with a petition signed by more than a hundred doctors, nurses and other medical staff on behalf of Medact, an organisation which supports health workers to campaign against issues which damage health and deepen health inequalities.

Medact Fossil Free

Committee chair Cllr Andy Canning said the idea would now be built into the review process which looks at the spread of investments when members meet in the coming months: “This is an important step forward, in the past we haven’t looked at this at all,” he said.

The doctors said that there was growing evidence that fossil fuels were a major threat to human health and argued that dis-investment was the only tactic which the multinational companies listened to.

They claimed that the Dorset fund has £141million in investments linked to the sector which they asked to be moved elsewhere.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter