Support medics who raised the alarm on the climate emergency

by Medics v Fossil Fuel Funding

Support medics who raised the alarm on the climate emergency

by Medics v Fossil Fuel Funding
Medics v Fossil Fuel Funding
Case Owner
6 healthworkers are on trial from 3 June 2024 for action linking the heatwave to fossil fuel funders and we need your help.
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Medics v Fossil Fuel Funding
Case Owner
6 healthworkers are on trial from 3 June 2024 for action linking the heatwave to fossil fuel funders and we need your help.
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This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: June 15, 2024

Trial of medics ends without a conviction

A huge thank you for all the generous support to date.

On Friday 14 June 2024, the 2 week trial of the 6 medics charged with criminal damage against JP Morgan, arch financiers of new fossil fuels…

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The group includes two consultants, two GPs and two nurses who now face a crown court trial starting on June 3rd 2024 for their peaceful action against fossil fuel funding.  

Please donate to support their legal costs.

What happened?

Early on 17 July 2022, the eve of the hottest day ever seen in the UK, the group of health workers travelled to JP Morgan in London. JP Morgan is the largest funder of fossil fuels in the world, and the top funder of oil and gas extraction in the Amazon. 

The group gathered quietly at JPM’s Canary Wharf European headquarters, scattered signs about them which read; “In medical climate emergency break glass”. They carefully cracked 8 panes of glass after which they sat silently in front of the windows to await the police.

The climate crisis has multiple and far-reaching impacts on the health of our communities both in the UK and around the world. Preventing this unfolding crisis requires an end to new fossil fuel extraction. This fact has been acknowledged by the International Energy Agency, and JP Morgan themselves, whose own economists stated in a report published in 2020 that: “The longer action is delayed the more costly it will be to deal with the issues. Moreover, a delayed policy response opens us up to potentially catastrophic outcomes, which might be impossible to reverse”. 

What was the relevance of the timing of the action?

The action was timed to take place just before the 2022 record-breaking heat wave, the first level 4 heatwave ever declared by the Met Office. In the Met Offices own words: a level 4 "heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged" that "illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy - and not just in high-risk groups". 

Due to the risks to the population, and the certainty of further such events if action is not taken, this was a crucial time  for health workers to take a stand to protect health.


JP Morgan, has bankrolled projects worth over $434 billion since the Paris Agreement in 2015 and reaped record profits. Fossil fuels are established as the cause of rising temperatures and other climate instability such as floods and droughts worldwide. These impacts are having a devastating effect on people’s health. As medical professionals we cannot stand by.

What’s at stake?

The July 2022 heatwave revealed the degree to which the UK and its people are vulnerable to extreme weather. Yet,  even as our infrastructure failed and many of our population suffered, our government rolled out plans to expand oil extraction in the North Sea while JP Morgan supported this by sinking billions more dollars into new fossil fuel extraction and exploration.

Extreme heat increases the risk of numerous health conditions including heart attacks, premature birth, complications of asthma, kidney disease, alongside mental health crises. It makes medicines work differently, it disorientates and dehydrates. And it kills.

The health professionals undertaking this action understood the reality of the climate health emergency,  and knew that the heatwave in July 2022 would cause death and suffering.

Sadly, the impact of the record breaking heat was even greater than anticipated. Summer 2022 saw 3,271 excess deaths, and for each of those deaths there will have been a multitude of other health impacts. The  most vulnerable suffer the most.

In addition to the direct health consequences, the vulnerability of our national infrastructure to heat was truly alarming; train tracks buckled, overhead cables sagged, homes were completely gutted by flames and cars were burnt out. The London Fire Brigade declared a major incident and suffered the busiest day since the Second World War. Hospital infrastructure was also affected with operations at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals cancelled as the “ludicrous” temperatures wiped out its computer systems. 

The impacts of the devastating heat could be felt everywhere, by everyone.

The UK’s vulnerability to increasingly unstable weather extends far beyond episodes of extreme heat, with an increasing frequency of devastating storms and floods (including of hospitals and schools), and food prices rising as a result of both climate-change driven heat overseas, and record breaking rain at home.

“We should all be very worried about the state of our democracy when GPs and nurses are willing to risk going to prison to protect public health. Successive governments, the fossil fuel industry and the banks that fund it have allowed the climate crisis to become a global health crisis.

People in the UK will lose their lives as a result of extreme heat, and these heat-waves will only become more frequent and more intense unless emissions are radically reduced. It’s time to stop the flow of money to the fossil fuel industry and JP Morgan holds the largest burden of responsibility for beginning to right this enormous wrong.”

Dr Fiona Godlee, the former Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal.

How can you help?

As a result of their intervention, this group of health workers (Dr Alice Clack, Ali Rowe, Dr David McKelvey, Dr Juliette Brown, Maggie Fay, and Dr Patrick Hart) now face a 7-day trial in the Crown Court, which is due to start on 3rd June 2024. They face charges of criminal damage. Their legal representation is likely to total over £83,000, in part owing to the narrowing of the legal landscape that has occurred since the action. If guilty; they could also face fines, and, following a recent General Medical Council ruling, could quite possibly lose their jobs. We would be very grateful if you could help us to support them in meeting these costs by donating to this Crowd Justice Appeal. Our initial target is to raise £25,000, with a stretch target of £85,000. Funds raised will go to the Extinction Rebellion Legal Fund, who have been funding legal representation to date. The funds will reimburse the XR Legal Fund for their payment of legal costs to date, and go towards future projected costs. Any amount raised in excess of these costs will remain with the XR Legal Fund to benefit other climate defendants in need of representation. 

Please donate what you can and please share our page with friends, family and colleagues.

Thank you

Dr Daniel Roberts (A+E doctor) 

Professor Hilary Neve (GP)

Dr Rammina Yassaie (Doctor & Ethicist)

Health for Extinction Rebellion 


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Update 3

Medics v Fossil Fuel Funding

June 15, 2024

Trial of medics ends without a conviction

A huge thank you for all the generous support to date.

On Friday 14 June 2024, the 2 week trial of the 6 medics charged with criminal damage against JP Morgan, arch financiers of new fossil fuels, ended with the jury unable to convict despite all legal defences having been removed.

Jury fails to reach verdict over medics accused of JP Morgan climate protest | UK news | The Guardian

In 8 days of testimony, the 6 argued the damage to health both local and global, current and future, meant a health intervention was both necessary and proportionate, and was done with the intent of saving lives. The 6 identified the first level 4 heatwave in the UK as a medical emergency and argued peaceful direct action to be a proportionate act to shine light into the corridors of power and prevent greater harm. Sadly, over 1000 people did meet premature deaths in the UK later that week.

The 6 medics - Dr Juliette Brown, a consultant psychiatrist, Maggie Fay, a Dementia Specialist Nurse, Dr David McKelvey, a GP, Dr Alice Clack, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Patrick Hart, a GP, and Ali Rowe, a child and adolescent mental health specialist and former mental health nurse - each explained, with examples from their personal and professional experience why the climate crisis is a matter of health justice.  They highlighted that their codes of conduct require them to take prompt action in the face of a health risk to their patients or the public, and that they chose to use direct action as it has proven efficacy in the face of gross injustice. 

Despite more than 2 days of deliberations, and the Judge’s direction that they had no legal defence, the jury refused to convict.  A retrial has now been scheduled for Feb 2026.

Is this in the public interest?

The team could not have managed to get this far without the support and guidance of their legal team.  While we are so pleased to have reached about half of the projected total costs of £85,000, there is still some way to go, so please do continue to share our crowdfunder with colleagues and friends: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/support-medics-who-raise-the-alarm

Speaking after the verdict, Dr Alice Clack said:

“It’s hard to express what we’re all feeling right now. We’re grateful to the jury for bringing moral sense and humanity into the courtroom. Their deliberations can’t have been easy given the directions of the judge. The outcome doesn’t bring back the countless lives already lost to JP Morgan’s fossil fuel addiction, in this country and around the world. But it gives an indication of the public support for medical practitioners willing to put their bodies on the line. The climate crisis is a health crisis. We can’t protect our patients by treating the symptoms, and we won’t stand by while JP Morgan and others cover up the truth and pour petrol on the flames of the climate crisis."

Dr Fiona Godlee FRCP FAcMedSci, former Editor in Chief of The British Medical Journal, said:

"None of these experienced and dedicated doctors and nurses wanted to be up in court on these charges. They wanted to be treating patients and protecting the public as they have sworn to do. But the world is facing an existential climate emergency that threatens our very survival, and our government and corporations like JP Morgan are completely failing us by continuing the madness of investing in fossil fuels. In view of this, I fully understand why these doctors and nurses felt the need to act as they did and I thank them for their leadership and courage." 

Of the case of the JP Morgan medics, Melinda Janki, winner of the Commonwealth Lawyers Rule of Law Award, 2023, said:

 "The jury has shown that commonsense and respect for life are more important than profits from destroying the climate. The real criminals are not the health professionals seeking to stop the breakdown of the Global climate system. The real criminals are the fossil fuel industry and complicit governments. The rule of law requires lawyers to put the right to life above all other considerations and to make today’s criminal law fit for purpose.”

In this same week, in another case, on Wednesday 12 June 2024 at Inner London Crown Court, Judge Silas Reid sentenced a group of five women who cracked windows at JP Morgan in 2021. He imprisoned Amy Pritchard for 10 months, suspending the sentences of the others. Today 15 June 2024 in the Guardian Amy writes of her reasons for taking action.

These five women were found guilty after Judge Reid had warned the jury they could face criminal prosecution if they applied their conscience to the case, prompting an anonymous King’s Counsel to tell Private Eye: "I've never encountered a judge threatening jurors in the way that Judge Silas Reid did. That suggests a clear determination by him  to deter them from returning a verdict independently". The case is being appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that Judge Reid’s warning to the jury was unlawful, and led to a formal complaint to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, signed by more than 1800 people, including the naturalist and broadcaster, Chris Packham. Juries have a right to acquit according to their convictions but a bizarre legal convention means they are not allowed to be told of their rights.

By 2023, JP Morgan, the leading financier of the global fossil fuel industry, had poured $430.9bn into the sector since the Paris Agreement on Climate Change called for an urgent reduction of carbon emissions. This despite an internal report by JP Morgan economists themselves leaked to the press in 2020, warning that climate change was a threat to the survival of the human race. The report also stated: “The human cost of climate change will play out through worsening health outcomes”.

In closing speeches, Dr Juliette Brown one of the medics co-defendants noted:      

“It has been said in this case that no one should ignore the law due to strongly held beliefs or views. But to characterise climate science and the health harms of fossil fuels as a belief is a fundamental mischaracterisation. It’s wrong.  Our evidence has repeatedly shown that the health harms of fossil fuels are not a personal view or belief or opinion but scientific fact, facts agreed by every credible health expert and science expert in the world.

What are also facts backed up by evidence from credible and consistent and esteemed authorities is the fact that funding fossil fuels is effectively to condemn whole swathes of the world’s population to a painful death, and the rest of us to decades of suffering and hunger.  To ignore those facts and go on funding fossil fuels is to destroy entire ecosystems on which we all depend for food and water. It is a fact that fossil fuel funding is causing immense damage, far greater than a cracked windowpane. JP Morgan, the arch financier, the leading funder of new fossil fuels and it is a fact that we cannot even use those fossil fuels if we care about protecting human life.” 

More than 130 health professionals have been arrested for climate protest since 2019. 

Donate here:

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/support-medics-who-raise-the-alarm

For more information:

Film of Amy Pritchard, imprisoned for 10 months by Judge Reid

https://healthforxr.com/14th-june-2024-jury-refuse-to-convict-hxr-medics-who-broke-jpmorgan-windows/

https://x.com/PlanB_earth/status/1801632655601029489

https://x.com/ClimateHuman/status/1801650698477506699


Thank you again 

Dr Daniel Roberts (A+E doctor) 

Professor Hilary Neve (GP)

Dr Rammina Yassaie (Doctor & Ethicist)

Health for Extinction Rebellion

Update 2

Medics v Fossil Fuel Funding

June 12, 2024

The trial moves to deliberation phase

Many thanks again to all those who have kindly donated to support the legal fees of the 6 health workers being tried this week for their action to raise the alarm on JP Morgan’s fossil fuel funding of the climate and ecological crisis.

Please do continue to share details of this fundraiser, which is nearing its half-way target, with your friends and colleagues. So where is the trial up to? 

The trial draws to its conclusions after 7 days of powerful evidence.

Following the prosecution's opening case in which CCTV footage of the group’s action was shown, all six defendants spoke movingly of the motivations that led to their intervention.

Common themes included; the failure of our government to take appropriate action to protect the public from the climate and ecological crisis, the complicity of JP Morgan as the leading global investor in the expansion of fossil fuels despite their own internal report warning that “something has to change at some point if the human race is going to survive”,  the groups professional responsibility as health workers to act promptly when their patient’s health is threatened, and the historical and scientific evidence that supports acts of civil disobedience like the one they have undertaken.

Maggie Fay, a dementia specialist nurse, spoke about the impacts of heat on her patients and their families, and her desire to protect them from the worsening impacts of the climate and ecological crisis. When asked about the impact of heat on a patient with dementia she replied:

“It can be fatal. What you see in a heatwave is an exponential rise in hospital admissions. Heat goes up and hospital admissions for people living with dementia go up”.

Dr Alice Clack, a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who has worked in global women’s health services with charities such as ‘Doctors without Borders’ described how the climate and health crisis is reversing global health gains and risks displacing billions if rapid and appropriate action is not taken. Speaking about her time spent working in Yemen she said:

“A lot of the population were in refugee tents spread around the main town area. It was exceedingly hot …I use to wonder how any of my patients were surviving in the tents around the town…millions of people are being displaced as a result of climate change, as a result of crop failure, heat, floods, and you know, when I think about, areas like the area I worked in Yemen, what I realise is that places like that are most vulnerable and places that will become completely impossible to live in”.

Dr David McKelvey, a retired GP, described the necessity of transforming the financial decisions that are made at  policy level, and thus the importance of our action which was aimed at communicating to the JP Morgan board.

“My primary motive was to send this message to the top level at JPM… on the eve of the heatwave, 6 healthcare workers go to a bank to crack the glass to let the light into JPM. So that the acts they (JPM) are doing will be illuminated, shown to themselves”.

Ali Rowe, a child and adolescent mental health specialist and former mental health nurse drew the jury’s attention to the failure of our governments, institutions, and legal system to protect the billion children worldwide who are at “high risk” from climate-change associated extreme weather. Describing how we are failing the world’s children she said:

“The collective trauma that can be felt in the children around the world in this country is profound and increasing…Imagine if you are a young person asking for help and they say no. What does that do to your mental health? The very people put on this earth to look after you are not doing it, not letting you have a voice, not letting you speak…The way you treat children is a barometer of how sick a society is”.

Dr Juliette Brown, a Consultant Psychiatrist spoke of the impact of the 2022 UK heatwave on her London community, describing the effects of heat on her patients, the collapse of the entire computer system at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital, and the statement of the London fire brigade which noted that the heat wave resulted in the busiest day for the service since the end of World War Two.

“I see patients everyday suffering from the effects of air pollution... People with physical and mental health difficulties which make them susceptible to the extremes of heat, cold and flooding…I see diabetes, heart, and lung disease …The evidence is all there, these conditions and more put patients in danger in the extremes of heat”.

Dr Patrick Hart, a working GP, spoke about his realisation that our health outcomes result not from the actions of doctors or nurses, but predominantly as a result of the physical, political, and cultural environments in which we live. Talking about his time working in an HIV health centre in South Africa he said:

“…some patients missed their appointments because they could not afford the transport to the hospital, and this meant they did not receive the treatment they needed. Crop failures are now commonplace in South Africa due to climate-change related drought, food and nutrition are fundamental to human health”  

The closing speeches in the ongoing case are expected  to conclude today (Wednesday, 12th June) after which the jury will be discharged to consider their verdict.  

Thank you again for your support,

Yours,

Dr Daniel Roberts (A+E doctor) 

Professor Hilary Neve (GP)

Dr Rammina Yassaie (Doctor & Ethicist)

Health for Extinction Rebellion

Update 1

Medics v Fossil Fuel Funding

May 29, 2024

Less than a week to the trial, but lots of support!

Thank you so much for donating to Support medics who raised the alarm on the climate emergency 

We are delighted that over 600 people have been willing and able to make a contribution in this way.  The generous donations so far have allowed us to reach our initial target.

The kind and thoughtful comments that people have left have also been an encouragement huge support to the health professionals who took part in the action. Their court case will be held at Snaresbrook Crown Court, London from 3rd June, and is  for an expected to last 5-7 days.   

This court case has never been more important. The largest ever recorded leap in atmospheric carbon dioxide has just occurred and is forecast to go beyond that required to limit global warming to 1.5°C.  April was the eleventh month in a row of record global temperatures while sea surface temperatures have been record high for the past 13 months. And hurricanes are becoming so strong that a new ‘category 6’ strength is proposed as needed. 

In the last month, unbearable, record-breaking heat across South Asia has killed dozens of people from heatstroke, ravaged crops and closed schools, forcing millions of students to miss out on education. Across the globe, outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, that thrive in warmer climates, are increasing and expected to spread to new areas where the population have no immunity, including Northern Europe. 

Despite all of this JPMorgan, according to the 2024 Banking on Climate Chaos report, was the leading lender to fossil fuel companies in 2023 by far, committing $40.8 billion. It was also the leading funder to companies expanding fossil fuel projects, despite the International Energy Agency being clear, three years ago, that there could be no new oil, gas and coal development if the world, in line with the Paris agreement, was to reach net zero by 2050. 

We still have a long way to go to reach our stretch target of £85,000 which is needed to cover the legal representation involved in this case. 

Please would you consider sharing continue to share and promote the link to our fundraising page with 3 other people, to friends, colleagues, contacts and or  family.? 

Thank you so much for your support. 

Dr Daniel Roberts (A+E doctor) 

Professor Hilary Neve (GP)

Dr Rammina Yassaie (Doctor & Ethicist)

Health for Extinction Rebellion

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