* Canadian Medical Association to divest fossil fuel holdings

Andre Picard

The Canadian Medical Association will divest its holdings in fossil-fuel companies, a move doctors hope will send a powerful symbolic message that climate change is an urgent health concern.

“Given the health impacts of fossil fuels, we have to take a stand,” Courtney Howard, a board member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and a physician practising in Yellowknife, said in addressing the CMA’s general council meeting on Tuesday.

“It’s not just about my values or your values any more. It’s about the impact that these issues have on risk to long-term shareholder and stakeholder value,” says Deb Abbey, CEO of Canada’s Responsible Investment Association (RIA).  She likened the move to earlier decisions by the organization to divest out of tobacco companies.