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Prince William Foundation encouraged to switch to greener bank

22nd February 2023
In a letter to the Prince William Foundation, UKHACC Chair Richard Smith asks the Prince to shift the Royal Foundation and Earthshot Prize bank accounts and investments to a different, greener bank.

Dear Prince William,

I write to you as the Chair of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, an alliance of 37 health organisations including most of the Royal Colleges, Faculties and Societies that represent health professionals working across the UK. Our members’ members number over a million, most of the NHS workforce.

We are deeply concerned about the impact that climate change is having on human and planetary health and will continue to have without urgent and rapid action. We commend the leadership you have demonstrated through the Earthshot Prize and all it does to drive change and help to repair our planet.

As you will know, the burning of fossil fuels is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving climate change. The 2022 Global Report of the Lancet Countdown [1] said the health of people around the world is at the mercy of fossil fuels, which both contributes to climate change and compounds the concurrent energy, cost-of-living, food and covid19 crises that so many people around the world are experiencing. We have joined with other health leaders in calling for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty [2], as the evidence is clear that ending reliance on fossil fuels is critical for reversing the worst impacts of climate change. We have called for an end to all subsidies, investments, new licences and consent for fossil fuels.

We have been made aware that the Royal Foundation and the Earthshot Prize banks with JP Morgan Chase, the world’s leading investors in new fossil fuel projects [3]. Furthermore, their CEO Jamie Dimon has spoken out in opposition [4] to the position held by the International Energy Agency, which has advised that “No new oil and natural gas fields are needed in our [net zero] pathway” [5].

We ask you to build on your leadership in advancing solutions to climate change by shifting the Royal Foundation and Earthshot Prize bank accounts and investments to a different, greener bank. This would send an important message to the banking sector, and multiple global corporations and leaders, that while we all work to find solutions to the climate crises, we must also adapt to reduce the harms already being done through fossil fuel projects.

With best wishes,

Dr Richard Smith CBE FMedSci, Chair of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change

References

[1] 2022 Global Report of the Lancet Countdown

[2] Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty letter from health

[3]  AP News | Prince William charity invests with bank tied to dirty fuels

[4] Fox Business| Jamie Dimon says America must ‘get it through our thick skulls,’ US energy is not against climate change

[5] IEA report on Net Zero by 2050 https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050