Sir, – Reading your article “Shell profits more than double to record $40 billion” was sobering to say the least (Business, February 2nd).
In 2022, it was estimated that the world has already warmed 1.1 Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures, and projections based on current international climate action commitments indicate that global warming is likely to exceed 2.7 Celsius by the end of the century. This is a disaster for global health and directly related to the activities of fossil-fuel companies, including Shell.
Fossil-fuel companies have known about climate change since at least the 1970s. Instead of transitioning towards sustainable energy sources, commercial profits were prioritised to the detriment of population and planetary health. Clearly, the same motives continue in 2023.
While Shell profits soar, approximately 29 per cent of Irish households are living in energy poverty, the highest number ever recorded. This demonstrates once again that the energy industry is not functioning to protect population health in the short or long term.
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When will there be meaningful political action taken, both nationally and globally, to end fossil-fuel dependence and ensure that fossil-fuel companies, rather than the most vulnerable in our societies, pay for the negative impact they are having on our world? – Yours, etc,
Dr ANN HERLIHY,
Dr SILE KELLY,
Dr LAURA HEAVEY,
in Public Health Medicine,
Irish Society of Specialists
in Public Health Medicine;
Dr CALE LAWLOR,
Senior Policy Manager
for Global Public Health,
European Public Health
Dr Steevens’ Hospital,