Doctors forcibly removed outside JP Morgan offices as they stage die in to demand they end fossil fuel investments

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  • Doctors for Extinction Rebellion stage die in at JP Morgan’s Canary Wharf Offices; some chalk spray ‘CODE RED’ on the building
  • Sixty doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals protest against the world’s biggest fossil fuel investor for driving the public health crisis arising from climate and ecological breakdown
  • They delivered a letter referring to the recent ‘Code Red’ IPCC report and the International Energy Association’s ‘Net Zero by 2050’ report

This morning, sixty doctors, nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers delivered an urgent public health message to the world’s biggest fossil fuel funder JP Morgan. Four held a banner saying  ‘End Fossil Fuel Funding’, others chalk-sprayed ‘CODE RED’ on the walls and the rest staged a ‘die in’ in front of the doors to symbolise the deaths caused by fossil fuel funding. Several doctors were forcibly removed quickly and aggressively by security. This followed a previous protest at JP Morgan just 2 days ago by 8 women, who broke glass at JP Morgan’s offices in Victoria Embankment.[1]

The group, who have received public support from WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus and Lancet Editor Dr Richard Horton, delivered a letter addressed to the CEO Jamie Dimon, and took the opportunity to read a recent special report on JP Morgan to their staff via megaphone from the roof of their revolving doors.[2][3]

The report, entitled “A Fig Leaf for Expansion, Assessing JP Morgan’s 2030 Climate Targets” by the Rainforest Action Network, supports the recent International Energy Association’s assertion that there should be “no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects” [4][5]. It suggests that JP Morgan is “uniquely responsible among its peers for fuelling fossil fuel expansion” and describes their targets as “flatly insufficient”, despite their claims to be “Paris-aligned”. Other commentators accused JP Morgan of using a “convoluted accounting trick” to allow them to meet its own internal targets whilst still being able to expand fossil fuel production.[7]

In the doctors’ letter to JP Morgan they made reference to the recent  “bombshell” UN report [8], which says the world will heat up by 1.5C before 2040 – a decade earlier than forecast, the recent patient evacuations from Whipps Cross hospital in London due to flooding, which has been attributed to climate change, and the recent defeat in the Dutch courts for Shell which shows the vulnerability of JP Morgan to court proceedings [9][10].

Dr Chris Newman, General Practitioner and co-founder of Doctors for Extinction Rebellion said “Climate change is at our door, and has entered our hospitals. JP Morgan is risking the lives of vulnerable children around the world, as well as my patients and my  family. I hope that some of the workers in Canary Wharf will realise today how culpable their companies are and begin to work together to change their direction. Not in a few years – but today.”

Jo Hindley, Registered Midwife said “As a midwife it hurts to know that every baby born today is being laid in the path of a hurtling juggernaut, fuelled by our consumption of coal, oil and gas. I cannot stand by while banks like JP Morgan continue to pour petrol on the fire.”

Dr Lynne Jones OBE, Child Psychiatrist and relief worker said: “We are already seeing the devastating mental health impacts of floods, fire and heat across the world. Fossil fuels are the cancer at the heart of the climate crisis and they have to be cut out”

Maggie Faye, Registered Dementia Nurse said: “We know from recent research that fossil fuel air pollution causes 1 in every 5 deaths [11], from heart disease and dementia to lung cancer and cot death. But it is the fossil fuel driven climate emergency that I’m most worried about. We must act now to prevent people dying and suffering unnecessarily.”

Mr Andrew Stevenson, Consultant Trauma Surgeon said: “Fossil fuels are killing our planet. They were once a means of advancing human development, but they are now the cause of planetary destruction. If we are to stand a chance of saving a liveable planet for ourselves and future generations, banks needs to end their investments in fossil fuel exploration and increase investments in the low carbon economy.”

Notes to Editors:

[1] IN CASE OF CLIMATE EMERGENCY, BREAK GLASS: Extinction Rebellion women break windows at ‘World’s worst bank’ JP Morgan: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2021/09/01/in-case-of-climate-emergency-break-glass-extinction-rebellion-women-break-windows-at-worlds-worst-bank-jp-morgan/

[2] WHO Director General meets Extinction Rebellion Doctors after Geneva protest May 2021 Doctors for XR

[3]  Lancet’s Editor states”Doctors obliged to protest”. October 2019, Doctors for XR.

[4]  A Fig Leaf for Expansion, Assessing JP Morgan’s 2030 Climate Targets, Rainforest Action Network, May 2021

[5] Net Zero by 2050, A roadmap for the global energy sector, International Energy Association, May 2021.

[6] JP Morgan Chase Just Became the World’s Most Dangerous Bank, Alex Connon, Common Dreams 24th May 2021

[7] https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/05/24/jpmorgan-chase-just-became-worlds-most-dangerous-bank

[8] IPCC 6th assessment report, 9th August 2021

[9] The floods show London is now on the frontline of the climate emergency, Sadiq Khan, Guardian July 2021

[10] Shell ordered to deepen carbon cuts in landmark Dutch climate case. Reuters. May ’21

[11] Fossil fuel air pollution responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide. 02/09/2021 | Environmental 

About Doctors for Extinction Rebellion

Doctors for Extinction Rebellion is a health professional collective who, appreciating that climate change is an impending public health catastrophe, have decided to support and undertake civil disobedience with Extinction Rebellion worldwide. We are doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, paramedics, midwives and other allied health professionals.

Notes for Editors

Whipps Cross is a hospital in East London.  Around 100 patients  were evacuated when heavy rainfall affected both the main power supply and the backup power supply overnight on a Sunday. Had this happened during the day it would have impacted surgical procedures, and could have led to serious consequences. On the same day Newham hospital, also in East London, was flooded

ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

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