The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) applauds today’s announcement by one of Australia's biggest health insurers, Medibank, to reduce its exposure to carbon intensive assets and invest $25 million in green bonds for carbon reducing and environmentally responsible projects.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange explaining why it would transition to low-carbon investments in its international portfolio within the next year, Medibank acknowledged that the health of the environment has an impact on the health of the community.
Air pollution is now clearly recognised as an important global risk factor for disease, ranking fifth on the global ranking of risk factors for total deaths from all causes for all ages and sexes in 2015.
“The health and well-being of people, indeed their survival, depends fundamentally, on a healthy environment: clean atmosphere and water, fertile soils, pollution free oceans and biological diversity,” explained Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, CEO of ACN.
“ACN is a proud member of the Climate and Health Alliance (the Alliance) and we are currently advocating for the Australian Government to fully adopt and implement the Alliance’s recently released Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-Being for Australia, a strategy that both Labor and The Greens have publicly endorsed.
Today’s announcement by Medibank, whilst overdue, is a great step in the right direction,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.
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1 State of Global Air /2017 A Special Report on Global Exposure to Air Pollution and its disease burden.