Divest for health!
Health insurers are finally starting to wake up to the health impacts of fossil fuels and the resulting impacts of climate change following clarion calls on the issue from medical bodies around the world, including the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
The World Health Organisation has predicted that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.
Health insurance funds have led the broader divestment out of tobacco and in many cases munitions, acknowledging the hypocrisy of investing in products which threaten human health. Now it’s time for all Australia’s health insurers to ditch dirty fossil fuels for exactly the same reason.
Update: Three of Australia’s four biggest private health insurers, HCF, NIB and Medibank have all begun the process of divesting from fossil fuels. Medibank has committed to be fossil fuel free by 30 June 2019. NIB and HCF have dumped fossil fuels from their international share portfolios, but have so far done nothing about their Australian shares’ exposure to health-destroying coal, oil and gas. Three other funds, Latrobe Health Services, Doctors Health Fund and Westfund have confirmed that they are not invested in fossil fuels.
Take action! Complete the form below to ask your health insurer to divest from fossil fuels.
|HEALTH INSURER||EQUITIES INVESTMENTS (AU$)*||POSITION|
|ACA Health Benefits Fund||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|ahm by Medibank||See Medibank||See Medibank|
|Australian Unity||$35 million||Invested in fossil fuels.|
|BUPA||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels. Bupa has confirmed that they don’t have equity (share) investments.|
|CBHS||$57m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|CUA Health||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels.|
|Defence Health||$61m||Invested in fossil fuels|
|Doctors Health Fund||–||“Doctors’ Health Fund has no investments in fossil fuels – including coal, gas & oil companies in addition to fossil fuel infrastructure.” Doctors’ Health Fund’s risk appetite and capital requirements prevent them from investing in shares, so they won’t be investing in fossil fuel companies in the future.|
|Emergency Services Health||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|GMHBA||$23m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels – currently reviewing position|
|GU Health||$9m||See Australian Unity|
|HBF||$277m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels – currently reviewing position|
|HCF||$244m||Announced divestment from fossil fuels. Has completed international shares divestment in March 2017. Promised to develop a plan for divestment of its Australian shares but has so far done nothing.|
|Health Care Insurance||$1m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Health Partners||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|HIF||$17m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Latrobe Health Services||–||“Latrobe has never and does not intend to hold equity investments in any fossil fuel industries and or organisations“|
|Medibank||$443m||Completed divestment of international shares in March 2018. Has set a date of 30 June 2019 for shifting Australian share portfolio into a low-carbon investment product.|
|Mildura Health Fund||$3m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Navy Health||$27m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|NIB||$93m||Has divested from fossil fuels in their international share portfolio in March 2016. Is still invested in fossil fuels in their Australian share portfolio.|
|Nurses and Midwives Health||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|onemedifund||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Peoplecare||$11m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Phoenix Health Fund||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Police Health||$8m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Queensland Country Health Fund||$6m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|RBHS||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|rt health||–||Unlikely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|St Luke’s Health||$13m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Teachers Health Fund||$24m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels. In 2017 updated its investment policy to avoid “unacceptable damage to the environment” where “practical, reasonable and appropriate”. The updated policy is still to be implemented.|
|Transport Health||$1m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|TUH Health Fund||$23m||Likely to be invested in fossil fuels|
|Westfund||–||“Westfund does not hold any investment in companies or enterprises involved with the fossil fuel industry.“|
*As at 30 June 2016 (Source: APRA)