In this article, published in The Guardian, Goldman Environmental Prize winner Julien Vincent pressures financial institutions and their shareholders and customers to get out of fossil fuels.
[Extract] ‘Go after the money’: Goldman environmental prize winner honoured for urging banks to divest from coal
Julien Vincent’s Market Forces organisation started with a spare laptop and a spare bedroom before raising the ire of the former Coalition government.
The laptop was second-hand, but Julien Vincent had a spare room and a very, very big idea: could he start a movement to convince Australia’s biggest financial institutions to stop investing the billions of dollars that sustained the fossil fuel industry?
“There wasn’t much to lose really,” says Vincent. “But yes, I was nervous early on because of the significance of the people we were taking on. The banks and the fossil fuel industry … they’ll be as cold and ruthless as they can be.”
One decade later, what that idea became – Vincent’s campaign group, Market Forces – has helped push all four of Australia’s big banks to commit to ending investments in coal by 2030.
The International Energy Agency’s executive director, Fatih Birol
In the public mind, climate crisis campaigning looks like marches, placards, stunts and activists chained to railway lines and coal conveyor belts. Vincent’s approach saw climate activism pulling on a business suit to sit down in the offices, boardrooms and shareholder meetings of financial institutions.
Today Vincent is awarded the prestigious Goldman environmental prize, described by some as the “Green Nobel”.
He is honoured for creating a “challenging financial landscape for the Australian coal industry, a significant step toward reducing fossil fuels that hasten climate change”.
With that award, Vincent’s work stands alongside previous winners that were at the centre of some of Australia’s most famous environmental battles – from saving the Franklin River to blocking uranium mining.
Continue reading the full article here: www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/25/go-after-the-money-goldman-environmental-prize-winner-honoured-for-urging-banks-to-divest-from-coal
Photograph: Goldman Environmental Prize
Associate Professor Magdalena Simonis AM is the President of the AFMW (2020-) and former President of VMWS (2013 & 2017-2020). She is a full time clinician who also holds positions on several not for profit organisations, driven by her passion for bridging gaps across the health sector. She is a leading women’s health expert, keynote speaker, climate change and gender equity advocate and government advisor.
Magdalena was awarded a lifetime membership of the RACGP for her contributions which include past chair of Women in General Practice, longstanding contribution to the RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, the RACGP eHealth Expert Committee. She is regularly invited to comment on primary care research though mainstream and medical media and contributes articles on various health issues through newsGP and other publications.
Magdalena has represented the RACGP at senate enquiries and has worked on several National Health Framework reviews. She is author of the RACGP Guide on Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery and co-reviewer of the RACGP Red Book Women’s Health Chapter, and reviewer of the RACGP White book
Both an RACGP examiner and University examiner, she undertakes general practice research and is a GP Educator with the Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence, which develops education tools to assist the primary care sector identify, respond to and manage family violence . Roles outside of RACGP include the Strategy and Policy Committee for Breast Cancer Network Australia, Board Director of the Melbourne University Teaching Health Clinics and the elected GP representative to the AMA Federal Council. In 2022. she was award the AMA (Vic) Patrick Pritzwald-Steggman Award 2022, which celebrates a doctor who has made an exceptional contribution to the wellbeing of their colleagues and the community and was listed as Women’s Agenda 2022 finalist for Emerging Leader in Health.
Magdalena has presented at the United Nations as part of the Australian Assembly and was appointed the Australian representative to the World Health Organisation, World Assembly on COVID 19, by the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) in 2021. In 2023, A/Professor Simonis was included on the King’s COVID-19 Champion’s list and was also awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division for significant service to medicine through a range of roles and to women’s health.