The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has today become the latest member of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change to fully divest from the fossil fuel industry – joining the British Medical Association, Royal College of General Practitioners and the Faculty of Public Health.

To coincide London Climate Action Week and London Divestment Day, the RCEM has sold all fossil fuel investments in its £1.3m portfolio, and has urged local authorities, religious institutions and education and healthcare organisations to follow suit. Worldwide, over 1,000 organisations with £7 trillion assets under management have committed to divesting from fossil fuels and instead investing in climate solutions1.

Gordon Miles, CEO of the RCEM, said:

“The Royal College of Emergency Medicine is proud to mark London Divestment Day by joining the institutions taking action against climate change by divesting of its holdings in fossil fuel companies. We call on all asset owners to consider carefully selling their fossil fuel shares and including sustainable companies or indexes into their long-term investment strategies”.

Nicky Philpott, director of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, said:

“Health professionals across the UK recognise that climate change is the greatest public health threat and opportunity of the 21st century. Urgent action is needed to mitigate against the effects of climate change, and the additional burden they will place on our health services. Air pollution alone is responsible for up to 36,000 deaths per year2, and heat-related deaths are predicted to reach 7,000 per year by 2050 unless significant action is taken3.

“The Royal College of Emergency Medicine are leading by example as they become the latest of our members to fully divest from the fossil fuel industry – joining the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Faculty of Public Health. On the pathway to net zero emissions, we hope more medical bodies will join them. We congratulate RCEM on taking this step.”

For more information, please visit the RCEM website.


  1. DivestInvest, 2019
  2. Kelly, 2018
  3. Environmental Audit Committee, 2018