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Mighty Earth at COP28

Mighty Earth at COP28

If you want to connect with Mighty Earth at COP28 reach us at  [email protected]

 

Mighty Earth at COP28    

 

Mighty Earth is heading to COP28 in Dubai, where we will be hosting an event and taking part in several others. 

Our primary focus will be food systems and how we create a more resilient and sustainable agriculture sector, while ending deforestation and restoring nature.  

Food and land use systems are responsible for at least a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and extreme weather events already threaten food production, particularly in developing countries, which contribute the least to global heating.  

One of the biggest climate polluters and drivers of deforestation is the meat industry. The events we are attending and hosting will largely examine how we put further pressure on the sector to change its ways to protect people and nature that rely on standing forests.

 

EVENTS

1000 – 1045 UAE 2nd December, Food4Climate Pavilion, Blue Zone, COP28, Dubai 

The Methane Snail Race: How big meat and dairy companies are lagging in the critical decade for methane action.  

Panel Discussion. Hosted by Changing Markets. 

Speakers: 

  • Nusa Urbancic, Changing Markets Foundation Executive Director
  • Glenn Hurowitz, Mighty Earth CEO  
  • John Willis, Planet Tracker, Director of Research 

Moderator - Rachel Sherrington, DeSmog 

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1515 – 1600 UAE 4th December, Food4Climate Pavilion, Blue Zone, Thematic Arena 2, Stand 100, Ground Floor 

Reducing Deforestation and Industrial Farming – a Climate Win-Win 

Panel Discussion. Hosted by World Animal Protection  

Speakers:  

  • Rodrigo Agostinho, President of IBAMA
  • Glenn Hurowitz, Mighty Earth CEO
  • Edel Morais, Secretariat for Traditional Peoples and Communities and Sustainable Rural Development 

 Moderator - Natália Figueiredo, External Affairs Manager of World Animal Protection Brazil 

 

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1000 – 1045 UAE 6th December, Food4Climate Pavilion, Blue Zone, Thematic Arena 2

How Public Markets Are Driving Capital to Food Systems Transformation Empowering change 

Panel Discussion. Hosted by VegTech(™)  

Speakers:

  • Elysabeth Alfano, CEO of VegTech(™) Invest, Advisor to the publicly traded Plant-based Innovation & Climate ETF.  
  • Glenn Hurowitz, Founder and CEO at Mighty Earth
  • FAIRR rep (TBC)
  • Aimee Christenses, Christensen Global (introductions)

 

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1540 – 1915 UAE 6th December, Food4Climate Pavilion, Blue Zone, Thematic Arena 2  

Empowering change on the frontline of Amazon deforestation 

Screening of the multi-award winning “We Are Guardians” + panel discussion + drinks reception. Hosted by Mighty Earth. 

Speakers  

  • Puyr Tembé, President of the State Federation of the Indigenous Peoples of Pará  
  • Edivan Guajajara, the Indigenous producer/director of the film
  • Andre Vasconcelos, Global Engagement Lead, Global Engagement Lead 

Moderator - Glenn Hurowitz, Founder and CEO at Mighty Earth 

Join us in person in Dubai or online for the event on the 6th. 

Link to register  Event live streamed

 

 


Media Statement: More industry ambition needed on sustainable natural rubber after underwhelming conclusion to 15 months of negotiations

 

Deforestation for rubber in Ratanakiri, Cambodia Source: Mighty Earth

October 25, 2023

Today, members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) voted to approve two key resolutions at the annual General Assembly. One of these motions saw companies agree to develop a system for monitoring compliance with their commitments to cut out deforestation, human rights abuses and land grabbing from their natural rubber supply chains. The other secured agreement for companies to provide greater public information about their progress towards delivering on these commitments. 

Although important, the former was similar to a resolution agreeing to develop such a system agreed by the Platform 15 months ago; while the latter stopped short of promising full transparency, especially by tire manufacturers and automakers. 

Mighty Earth Senior Director for Africa, Julian Oram, who was voted to serve as the new civil society representative on the Executive Committee for a period of three years, said:  

“Today’s resolutions were an underwhelming conclusion to 15 months of discussions since the last General Assembly in July, 2022. We continue to see resistance by some tire manufacturers and automakers to supply chain transparency and public reporting, as well as attempts to slow down the establishment of a robust due diligence and monitoring system. Meanwhile, forests continue to fall and rubber farmers continue to experience crippling poverty, while tire companies reap record earnings.  

“This week we’ve seen new scientific evidence reveal that the scale of deforestation for rubber in Southeast Asia has been far worse than previously estimated. This should serve as a stark reminder that every day is precious for the industry to collectively improve the traceability of rubber supply chains, establish a robust independent monitoring system, and provide public transparency on progress towards their commitments on sustainable natural rubber. There is also an underlying need to address the exploitative relations between those at the bottom versus those at the top of the rubber supply chain.”  

“We’re grateful to our colleagues for electing Mighty Earth as one of the civil society representatives on the Executive Committee. We will use the opportunity to push for rapid progress to be made on the key issues between now and the next Extraordinary General Assembly taking place in June of 2024.” 


Bunge: “Responsible soy” or just greenwash?

Bunge: “Responsible soy” or just greenwash?

The US company, which Mighty Earth revealed was linked to recent rampant deforestation in the Cerrado, is a “platinum sponsor of an industry event on “responsible soy.” 

 

Mighty Earth attended the recent Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) annual conference in São Paulo, Brazil and we were baffled to see that US commodities trader Bunge was a “platinum” sponsor of the event for a second year running. Our latest report found Bunge was linked to recent soy-driven deforestation in the Cerrado, equivalent to nearly 16,000 soccer pitches. 

The RTRS said Bunge’s sponsorship is part of a multistakeholder approach that strengthens the roundtable. The irony is not lost on us that Bunge, claiming to be committed to responsible soy, is the same company we found buying deforestation-linked soy from three farms in the Cerrado, Brazil’s most threatened biome and Bunge admitted it plans to continue with this business-as-usual approach until 2025. 

 

With annual revenues of $67 billion, Bunge is the main supplier of soy animal feed to the meat industry in the European Union and is one of the traders with the greatest deforestation risk linked to soy in the Cerrado. Bunge ships vast amounts of soy to Europe to feed animals in intensive farming systems, destined for the meat aisles of major supermarkets in France, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands – for beef, poultry, pork, and dairy products.  

Greenwashing its soy commitments? 

One of the key criteria of the RTRS is that there should be no conversion to soy plantations of any natural land after a 3rd June 2016 cut-off date. This is a more ambitious date than the 2020 date required by the new European Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). Our investigation found that Bunge recently bought soy from three farms responsible for the equivalent of 15,897 soccer pitches of deforestation in the Cerrado (11,351 ha), cleared after 2021, so beyond the 2016 and 2020 cut-off dates of the RTRS and the EUDR respectively.  

Bunge confirmed to Mighty Earth that it has recently sourced soy directly from some of the farms named in our investigation – although it said the deforestation was legal under Brazilian law and failed to provide any further details. Bunge also told us that it does not have a deforestation cut-off date of 2020, and so will accept legally deforested, deforestation-risk, or deforestation-linked soy in its supply chain until 2025. Ten years ago, Bunge promised to be deforestation-free by 2025, so it seems it’s business-as-usual for the next year or so, with Bunge continuing to buy soy from suppliers that are laying waste to what remains of the Cerrado. With this position, why would Bunge sponsor a “responsible soy” conference? Is it just greenwashing?  

Race to clear the Cerrado 

The Cerrado is disappearing twice as fast as its neighbor the Amazon, taken by the meat industry to grow soy as animal feed. Going by the conversations taking place at the RTRS meeting, other traders represented by Abiove (Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries) also share Bunge’s lack of ambition and urgency to end deforestation in the Cerrado. What they’re planning is, in fact, the opposite. While discussing the limits and opportunities of the EUDR, Abiove insisted its members can only adopt a “future cut-off date” (i.e., 2025), not a “past one”. Abiove and the traders recognized that it may trigger a “race to clear the Cerrado” before 2025 but seemed to accept this as the Cerrado’s fate. It is worth noting that the RTRS is a voluntary certification and that the EUDR doesn’t accept any voluntary certification to comply with the new law’s Due Diligence procedure.  

Recent data from Brazil’s Space Research Institute (INPE) revealed that deforestation increased in the Cerrado, up by 89 percent year-on-year in September. And the environment is not the only concern. A new investigation by Friends of the Earth U.S, Action Aid USA, and Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos shows Bunge’s links to land grabbing and human rights violations in the Cerrado. 

The Cerrado is home to thousands of Indigenous Peoples and to 5% of the world’s plant and animal species. Known as Brazil’s “cradle of waters” it could lose more than a third of its river flows by 2050, if soy expansion continues at current levels. We cannot sacrifice the Cerrado to support a broken food system. We need supermarkets to cut ties with bad actors like Bunge, who far from sourcing “responsible soy” are, in fact, driving an ecosystem to the brink of collapse, by supporting irresponsible and destructive practices. We cannot allow this to happen. We need the Cerrado as much as the Amazon to tackle the climate crisis. In the meantime, the RTRS needs to think carefully about Bunge’s sponsorship of its “Responsible Soy” conferences. 


Scandal: How Cargill sank the COP27 deal to end soy-driven deforestation

Scandal: How Cargill sank the COP27 deal to end soy-driven deforestation

Explosive new report from Mighty Earth reveals for the first time how Cargill sabotaged the world’s biggest breakthrough on forests  

 Update on Cargill action. Letter to CEO Brian Sikes.

 Link to the report  Media coverage

 

An explosive new report by Mighty Earth reveals for the first time how the US agribusiness giant Cargill sank a year-long drive by industry and governments for a global deal at COP27 to end all deforestation and ecosystem destruction linked to soy production.  

The revelation comes as deforestation recently surged to record levels in the threatened Cerrado savannah in Brazil, largely driven by the expansion of soy grown for animal feed.  

A four-month investigation by Mighty Earth, involving multiple interviews with some of the key participants closest to the negotiations, found that while Cargill publicly claimed to be committed to ending deforestation in its soy supply chains, behind-the-scenes, Cargill lobbied and manoeuvred to block an ambitious Agriculture Sector Roadmap to 1.5°C announced at COP27 to immediately ban and end all soy-driven deforestation and ecosystem destruction. 

Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz said:  

“Mighty Earth found that fourteen of the world's biggest agribusinesses were set to agree a global deal ending deforestation and nature destruction linked to soy in the run up to COP27 in Egypt, but they were blocked by stubborn opposition from Cargill, which threw its considerable weight around, and ensured that the deal collapsed. You simply wouldn’t see the forests and biomes of South America bulldozed at the same alarming scale and pace if Cargill hadn’t sabotaged the world’s biggest breakthrough on forests.” 

Report key findings: 

  • Senior officials say Cargill blocked a global deal to end deforestation and ecosystem destruction for soy in year-long talks in the run up to COP27, and heaped pressure on other companies that had promised to end ecosystem destruction by 2025 to backtrack. 
  • An official associated with Cargill claimed that although soy-related conversation in Brazil was the number one issue for Cargill internally, the company put money, trading revenues and executive bonuses first in its efforts to sink an ambitious deforestation deal on soy at COP27.  
  • Documents released under EU Access to Data laws show Cargill’s key soy trade associations privately lobbied senior European Commission climate change officials and brazenly denied that soy expansion was a driver of deforestation in Brazil. 

Crucial talks ahead of COP27 

As the world came together for the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt last November, hopes were high that fourteen of the world’s largest commodity traders and agribusinesses would announce an end to all soy-driven deforestation and agree on an immediate ban and a zero-deforestation cut-off date of 2020. This would have prohibited the sale of all soy products linked to both legal and illegal deforestation and conversion after 2020.  

The deal was crucial given the scale of soy-driven deforestation, particularly in the vast and threatened Cerrado savannah in Brazil, which has lost half of its surface area largely due to soy expansion to feed livestock in intensive farming systems. 

The push for a deal had momentum. Major agribusinesses Amaggi and Louis Dreyfus Company were committed to the initiative and the US and UK Governments were shouldering an effort to secure a Paris Agreement-aligned Agriculture Sector Roadmap to 1.5 °C, in time for the COP27 conference wrap. But while decent progress and deforestation commitments were made by the cattle and palm oil sectors, the final Soy Implementation Plan in the Roadmap fell woefully short, failing to agree a target date to immediately ban and end soy-driven deforestation and ecosystem destruction.  

Lord Goldsmith, the former UK Minister for International Environment and Climate, who was closely involved in the Roadmap negotiations said to Mighty Earth:  

“There are plenty of companies and countries that have managed to break the link between environmental degradation and agricultural commodities, which are the biggest cause. So, it would be unforgivable for a giant company like Cargill to claim publicly to be transforming its supply chain, while at the same time resisting efforts to agree an end to soy-related habitat conversion in the run up to COP27.” 

Cargill: Still ‘The Worst Company in the World’ 

In an earlier report Mighty Earth called Cargill “The Worst Company in the World” for its appalling track record on deforestation, environmental and human rights issues. In April 2023, a follow-up Mighty Earth investigation found Cargill bought soy from farms linked to hundreds of hectares of illegal Amazon deforestation. With the world experiencing its hottest year and to stand any chance of limiting global heating to within 1.5°C, it’s urgently time for Cargill to accept that business-as-usual is no longer a viable option and to commit to end all soy-driven deforestation immediately. 

Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz added:  

“A single company shouldn’t be in the position of deciding the fate of the world’s tropical forests and key ecosystems and biomes. Cargill must put profits and bonuses aside and grasp the urgency of the global climate emergency and work constructively with governments, peers and civil society to return with an updated global plan to ban all soy-related deforestation and nature destruction at the forthcoming COP28 climate summit in Dubai in late November.”  


Brazilian meat giant JBS’ plan to list on the New York Stock Exchange could be biggest climate risk IPO in history

 

Mighty Earth letter to SEC on JBS IPO Briefing for Investors Media coverage

Mighty Earth lodges submission with US Securities and Exchange Commission contesting JBS plan to dual list and joins forces with civil society groups to issue warning to over 200 investors raising governance and climate concerns.

 

(Washington, DC) Mighty Earth has lodged a submission against JBS with the powerful US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), over the Brazilian meat giant’s plan to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by the end of the year. The proposed restructure, ahead of the listing, could see the founding Batista family acquire up to 90% of the shareholder voting power and it could be the biggest climate risk IPO listing in history. 

Mighty Earth has written to the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance contesting the validity of the information JBS has provided in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) prospectus, which it says underestimates the company’s climate impact and misleads both the SEC and potential investors.  

Mighty Earth is calling for JBS’ IPO to be scrutinized and at minimum postponed until a decision is reached by the SEC on Mighty Earth’s existing whistleblower complaint, the results of which could include a formal investigation and enforcement action. Any sanctions by the SEC could have a significant impact on the IPO process and the financial outlook of the company, leaving US investors open to risk. 

The active whistleblower complaint referenced above targets JBS’ so-called “green” Sustainability-Linked Bonds (SLBs). The initial complaint was submitted by senior executives of Mighty Earth on 18 January this year and was supplemented on 11 August with additional factual developments concerning JBS’ alleged unlawful conduct.  

 

 

Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Mighty Earth said: 

“This is probably the single most important IPO for the climate in history. There are profound implications for the planet if JBS, the world's worst Amazon deforester, is given the go ahead to seek billions of dollars from Wall Street to continue tearing down rainforest, polluting on a vast scale, and driving land-grabbing.”  

“Concentrating 90% of voting power in the hands of the Batista brothers, Joesley and Wesley, both acknowledged criminals, restricts the ability of outside investors to push JBS to end deforestation or deal with its outsized emissions.” 

“That’s why we’re urging the SEC to fully investigate the claims made in the IPO prospectus, and to pause the IPO until the investigation into our existing whistleblower complaint is resolved.” 

 Background  

Mighty Earth filed a whistleblower complaint to the SEC in January calling for a full investigation into alleged misleading and fraudulent “green bonds” issued by JBS. Evidence in that submission detailed how JBS issued $3.2 billion in four separate debt issuances or “green bonds” in 2021, referring to them as Sustainability-Linked Bonds (SLBs), tied to its stated goal to cut its emissions and achieve “Net Zero by 2040.” 1 

The complaint centred on the fact that JBS based the bond offerings on its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 – but that its emissions have in fact increased in recent years and it excluded ‘Scope 3’ supply chain emissions that comprise upwards of 90% of its climate footprint. It also omitted key information from investors about the actual number of animals it slaughters each year, denying US investors vital information to make fully informed decisions about JBS’ net zero and climate-related claims as they decided whether to purchase these SLBs. 

In 2017, members of the Batista family were involved in Brazil’s biggest high-level corruption scandal, signing a $3.16 billion plea deal. The fall-out from the scandal is estimated to have wiped 9% from the Brazilian stock exchange.  

Key concerns of JBS IPO prospectus:  

  • Aims to restructure the business via the NYSE listing which would disadvantage its minority shareholders, giving increased shareholder voting power to the JBS founders, the Batista family, of between 85% and 90.5%. 
  • Offers shareholders a cash dividend payout of R$1 (Brazilian Real) per share, expected to total R$2.2 billion (US$437 million) to agree the deal.  
  • Includes misleading statements in the filing prospectus regarding JBS’ negative climate impacts, significantly with no mention of its methane emissions which compare to an estimated 55% of US livestock methane emissions.  
  • Underestimates the impact of climate change on future trading and fails to acknowledge the risks to global food production from climate change.  
  • Misleads by claiming to be committed to a “deforestation-free supply chain in Brazil,” when a 2022 audit revealed more than one in six cattle in Brazil - almost 94,000 – did not meet legal requirements, including links to deforestation in its supply chains.  
  • Plays down its role as one of the world’s worst forest destroyers, while estimates put JBS’ true deforestation footprint as high as 1.7 million hectares in its direct and indirect supply chains in Brazil.  
  • Shifts geographies across multiple jurisdictions by creating a new entity in the Netherlands, JBS NV, then onto the NYSE, creating risk for shareholders in exercising their rights to hold the company accountable.  

Gemma Hoskins, Senior Director at Mighty Earth said: 

“The IPO prospectus has serious omissions, misleading statements and frankly more greenwash, designed to present JBS as a winning proposition for the New York Stock Exchange, when nothing could be further from the truth.”  

“JBS wants to list with all the benefits of a public listing while for all extents and purposes continuing to operate like a private company and avoiding US regulatory scrutiny by basing the company in the Netherlands.”  

“It disadvantages other shareholders while giving unprecedented control to the Batista brothers, who have pleaded guilty to criminal acts. All this while JBS reports major losses. How can this be an appealing proposition for investors?” 

Kevin Galbraith, US securities attorney for Mighty Earth, said: 

“We urge the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance not to give JBS the green light on its plans to move forward with the IPO without first considering the existing submission which is with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. In that complaint we demonstrated how JBS accessed U.S. capital markets to raise billions from unsuspecting investors, including asset managers who had signed on to a pledge to avoid issuers whose conduct fuels climate change. We believe that evidence alongside our recent analysis of the IPO prospectus shows that JBS is once again hell bent on harming US investors and misleading markets.” 


Call for Tesco to be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority over sale of banned Brazilian meat and greenwashing claims

Mighty Earth alerts the UK government’s corporate watchdog alleging Tesco made misleading climate claims in violation of the CMA’s Green Claims Code  

 

(London, UK), Mighty Earth is calling on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate Tesco for selling Brazilian beef and chicken products it previously claimed it had banned and for making misleading climate statements in violation of the CMA’s Green Claims Code, which sets the standard to ensure businesses’ environmental claims are not misleading or 'greenwashing.' 

Mighty Earth has written to the CMA alleging that Tesco continues to stock Brazilian beef and chicken products, despite Tesco’s announcement it was banning all Brazilian meat in August 2020, due to links to Amazon deforestation. Yet two years on, Mighty Earth has found the retailer continues to stock the Brazilian meat products it “banned” on its shelves including Princes corned beef, clearly marked as Brazilian beef. Chicken products shipped from Brazil and sold by Tesco include Bridge Valley chicken tikka pieces. Mighty Earth alleges Tesco makes false claims regarding ‘the total life cycle of a product or service’ and may be in breach of consumer protection law. 

Mighty Earth is calling on the CMA to further investigate a wider range of chicken products from Tesco supplier, Westbridge Foods Ltd, who Mighty Earth found shipped hundreds of tonnes of Brazilian chicken to the UK for use in ready meals.  

The complaint also raises questions about a £10 million investment Tesco publicly claims to have made to a project called “Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado.” This fund was established in response to public concern about deforestation linked to the meat and soy industry in the Cerrado savannah, the most threatened biome in Brazil. Around half of the Cerrado has been lost to the meat industry to grow soy to feed animals in intensive farming systems. However, Tesco’s £10 million investment was never made to the fund.  

Mighty Earth insists Tesco’s 2050 Net Zero claims and its 2025 no deforestation and conversion target date are unachievable while it continues to source soy from US commodities giant and known forest destroyer, Cargill, whose 2030 date to end deforestation is five years behind that of Tesco. A recent Mighty Earth investigation found Tesco chicken and pork products were linked to 625 hectares of Amazon deforestation in Cargill’s soy supply chain. Cargill has suspended this farm but has failed to take any remedial action and Tesco have refused to cut ties with Cargill. 

Gemma Hoskins, UK Senior Director at Mighty Earth, said:  

“Our complaint to the CMA highlights that Tesco is misleading the public on its climate credentials and it is still selling Brazilian meat products to unsuspecting customers, despite announcing a ban in 2020 due to deforestation concerns.”  

“How can customers have any confidence in Tesco’s claims that it’s a “climate leader” when its shelves are still stocked with products that are driving the destruction of nature in the Amazon and its neighbour, the Cerrado. And what happened to the £10 million that Tesco claimed it was giving to help protect the Cerrado from further soy expansion?” 

“We urge the CMA to take a close look at what Tesco says it’s doing and what it is actually doing, which in reality appears to be nothing more than greenwashing.” 


Tell Starbucks to come clean on cocoa

 Sign the petition

 

 

Press release Letter

Starbucks claims to source its cocoa responsibly. But when it comes to paying cocoa farmers a living income, addressing child labor, or protecting forests, Starbucks is evading accountability and hiding behind grand claims it cannot substantiate. 

A global civil society coalition of Be Slavery Free, Freedom United, Green America, and Mighty Earth has launched a new campaign, including a public petition calling for Starbucks to come clean about where it sources the cocoa for its chocolate products.

 

Take action to make Starbucks clean up its cocoa supply chains. 


150 million trees could be felled in Latin America if the EU-Mercosur free trade deal gets the green light

The warning from Mighty Earth comes as EU and CELAC leaders, including Brazil’s President Lula, meet in Brussels for crunch talks on trade  

An estimated 150 million trees could be felled in the Amazon and other biomes across four Latin American countries and the Paris Agreement climate goals could be jeopardized, if the controversial free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur (involving Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) gets the green light.  

The trade deal is expected to be a priority at the EU-CELAC Summit in Brussels this week with leaders from 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries and their EU counterparts meeting to discuss: trade and investment; global peace and stability; economic recovery and efforts to tackle climate change.  

Mercosur would be a disaster for people and planet 

A study by IMAZON shows that the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement could increase the risk of additional deforestation in Mercosur countries by between 122,000 and 260,000 hectares, according to six scenarios examined. Brazil would account for 55% of the deforestation – largely in the Amazon and the Cerrado savannah. It’s estimated 69 million to 147 million trees could be lost across the four Mercosur countries if the deal comes into force – which aims to liberalise tariffs on forest-risk goods such as beef and soy. Some 173 million metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gases could be released by this projected deforestation, putting the Paris Agreement of staying within 1.5˚C of global heating, at risk. The deal as it currently stands will favour further intensive farming, which is already driving deforestation, land grabbing and human rights violations of Indigenous peoples.  

Alex Wijeratna, Senior Director at Mighty Earth said: 

“The world’s already on fire, so it seems madness that EU and Latin American leaders are trying to sign the controversial EU-Mercosur free trade deal that scientists say will cause major deforestation, likely resulting in 150 million trees felled in key climate critical biomes like the Amazon rainforest, or the threatened Cerrado savannah.”  

“173 million metric tons of carbon could be released, fuelling climate change and putting the Paris Agreement of staying within 1.5˚C of global heating in jeopardy.” 

“For the Indigenous Peoples who have endured years of human rights violations and the loss of their ancestral lands, Mercosur would only make matters worse, which is why 450 civil society groups are calling for it to be challenged and rejected.” 

Although the possible signing of the EU-Mercosur agreement will be a priority issue in the talks held during the EU-CELAC summit in Brussels on 17-18 July, the conditions for such an agreement do not currently appear to be in place. 


Mighty Earth challenges General Motors to live up to climate and human rights commitments

Local coalition highlights GM’s environmental impact on both Michigan residents and global communities 

Letter

 06/15 Press release  02/14 Press release  02/24 Press release

(Detroit, MI) – A dozen Michigan-based environmental and social justice organizations have joined Mighty Earth to release a letter calling on General Motors (GM) to decarbonize its material supply and stop polluting local communities. The letter follows a new report released by Mighty Earth, “GM Wants ‘Everybody In’ on Greenwashing,” which reveals how GM is failing to live up to its own stated ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality and ensure that human rights are not violated in its value chain. 

The letter welcomes GM’s commitment to ending tail-pipe emissions by 2035 and being carbon neutral by 2040, but highlights GM and the company’s suppliers’ dubious record in the state of Michigan. From the hazardous waste cleanup at the Buick City Facility in Flint to the Tribar hexavalent chromium spill in the Huron River, the letter notes that the people of Michigan experience the daily environmental toll of GM’s presence in the state. The letter also mentions GM awarding the steel company Cleveland Cliffs as “supplier of the year” for a sixth consecutive year, even though Cleveland Cliffs agreed in 2022 to pay $3 million in fines for spilling cyanide and ammonia into Lake Michigan.  

Em Perry, Environmental Justice Director at Michigan United said:   

“For over one hundred years GM has been a part of Michigan. Unfortunately, this has meant it is the people of Michigan who feel the pain of layoffs and environmental degradation caused by GM. If GM wants ‘everybody in’ on the company’s plan to go carbon neutral, let’s start by protecting Michigan’s environment and not rewarding serial polluters like Cleveland Cliffs.” 

The environmental and human costs of GM’s material supply chain can be felt far beyond Michigan’s border. As the letter notes, in 2021, GM delivered 2.9 million vehicles in China, and reports released in 2022 connected GM to aluminum and steel producers in the Xinjiang region of China using forced Uyghur labor. The steel and aluminum sectors are responsible for 8% and 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions annually respectively and the auto sector accounts for 12% of global steel use and 18% of all aluminum consumed worldwide in 2019.   As a global leader in the auto industry GM is uniquely positioned to lead the industry transition to clean aluminum and steel for electric vehicles by committing to only source from producers using renewable energy and free of forced labor. 

Violation of Indigenous Peoples’ rights 

Additionally, the letter highlights GM’s $650 million investments in Lithium Americas Corp to help the company develop its Thacker Pass lithium mine project, which violates Indigenous Peoples' rights and free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) and is widely opposed by the People of Red Mountain. A recent report from Human Rights Watch identified Indigenous communities in Guinea, Ghana, Malaysia, and Australia who experienced the loss of land, polluted waters, and loss of livelihoods from bauxite mining, a critical component of aluminum. 

Matthew Groch, Senior Director at Mighty Earth said: 

“There is no way that GM can live up to its carbon-neutral commitments without taking meaningful action to decarbonize its material supply chain starting with steel and aluminum. From the local pollution caused by Cleveland Cliffs to the forced Uyghur labor in China to desecrating the ancestral lands of the People of Red Mountain, every place that GM’s material supply chain touches, the people and the planet suffer.”     

The ability of GM to meet its climate and human rights commitments and respect the communities of Michigan is deeply intertwined with the decarbonization of its material supply chain. As a global leader in the automotive industry and a major consumer of steel and aluminum, the letter calls on GM to:  

  • Adopt specific annual targets for purchases of carbon-free aluminum, reaching zero-carbon aluminum emissions by 2027. 
  • Commit to procure, specify or stock 50% net zero steel by 2030. 
  • Join global initiatives supporting value chain emission reductions, including ResponsibleSteel and the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative.    
  • Commit to ending the sourcing from any steel or aluminum supplier connected to human rights violations or the exploitation of Indigenous lands or people. 
  • Develop a public plan to assess human rights risks regularly, including at the bauxite mining, alumina refining, and smelting level.  
  • Publicly disclose information regarding its steel and aluminum supply chains, including mines, refineries, and smelters. 
  • Commit to supporting manufacturers with strong labor standards to help grow domestic manufacturing of clean technology parts and materials.   
  • Commit to an equitable transition to electric vehicle (EV) production for Michigan workers including the reshoring of EV manufacturing jobs.  

Partner Quotes:  

Andrew Kaplowitz, Climate and Energy Justice Lead at Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice said:  

“GM is polluting our neighborhoods here in Detroit while one in four households don't even own a car. They're taking advantage of workers all over the world and Black and Indigenous communities feel that effect more than anyone else. We don't have to choose between good jobs and healthy communities and it's time that GM puts people before profits."  

 

Rev. Sharon Buttry (MSW) of Detroit Hamtramck Coalition for Advancing Healthy Environments said:  

 

“We expect GM to be a global leader in addressing the climate crisis by examining every aspect of the supply chain for a just and sustainable future.” 

 

Organizational Signers 

 

Detroit Hamtramck Coalition for Advancing Healthy Environments 

Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation 

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice 

Earth Walk  

Environmental Transformation Movement of Flint 

Michigan Environmental Council 

Michigan League of Conservation Voters 

Michigan United 

Michigan Alliance for Justice In Climate (MAJIC)  

Mighty Earth 

Mixto Communications 

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter 

Vote Solar Michigan 

 


General Motors' Thacker Pass Investment Threatens Indigenous Peoples Rights

New Mighty Earth Report Reveals GM Failing on Protecting People and Climate 

 

(Washington, D.C.)—- Mighty Earth has released a report documenting how General Motors (GM), a global leader in the automobile industry, is facilitating the violation of Indigenous Peoples' right to self-determination with its investment in Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass lithium mine in Nevada. The report GM Wants “Everybody In” on Greenwashing also shows how the auto manufacturer is, from multiple perspectives, failing on protecting people and climate.  

The report sheds light on a litany of examples revealing how GM is failing to live up to its own stated ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality and ensure that human rights are not violated in its value chain. Furthermore, the report finds how GM continues to fall behind competitors like Ford, Stellantis, and Volkswagen on cleaning up its supply chain. The report shows that there is a massive disconnect  between the company’s climate and human rights commitments that it communicates to its investors and consumers, and the actual actions that GM is taking to ensure these goals and commitments are fulfilled.  

“As the largest carmaker in the U.S., GM has a unique opportunity to be an industry leader in the responsible transition to EVs. However, its failure to take adequate action to decarbonize its supply chain and to respect Indigenous Peoples and their ancestral lands shows GM consistently chooses public relations tactics over meaningful commitments. If GM is serious about commitments it has made,it can start by ensuring Lithium Americas respects the rights of Indigenous Peoples”. said Matthew Groch, Senior Director at Mighty Earth 

The report highlights specific cases where GM's actions have clashed with its public commitments: 

  

Thacker Pass lithium mine on Indigenous People’s land 

The consultation was never adequate. There are several Tribes with direct ties to Thacker Pass who weren’t included in OR give any Free, Prior and Informed Consent, including the Shoshone Paiutes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. GM should check that. Massacre sites and dirty mining history plague Indian Reservations. Consultations with everyone would have produced substantial evidence to affirm that Thacker Pass wasn’t properly processed. The People of Red Mountain call for accountability.” said Gary Mckinney 

GM has invested $650 million in Lithium Americas Corp to help the company develop its Thacker Pass lithium mine project, which violates Indigenous Peoples' rights and free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). Federal permitting was fast-tracked for the Thacker Pass project and members of the public didn’t have sufficient time to weigh in before the plan to mine this land was approved, this violates the right of the local Indigenous People to self-determination. GM has a policy that claims its committed to ensuring respect of Indigenous Rights and FPIC specifically related to its supply chain, but at this time they have taken no action to ensure that this commitment is fulfilled with regards to this project, despite receiving multiple communications from organizations and the affected Indigenous communities.  

  

Human rights: Forced Uyghur Labor and Child Labor 

A series of reports released in 2022 found GM suppliers closely linked to forced Uyhgur labor. Earlier this year, the NYT revealed that undocumented children have been working for GM suppliers in the U.S. These two damning revelations are in stark contrast to an initiative GM announced last year asking global suppliers to join the company in a commitment to carbon neutrality, the development of social responsibility programs and implementation of sustainable procurement practices in their supply chain operations. It’s clear this commitment and the process underpinning it is clearly failing. 

  

Dirty Steel and Aluminium 

The steel and aluminum industries produce around 10% of the 2% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions - more than the whole of the European Union. And despite their significant impact, GM has yet to announce how it intends to decarbonize its North American steel and aluminum supply chains. Moreover, GM’s relationship with Cleveland-Cliffs is antithetical to its decarbonization commitments and continues the assault on communities near its facilities. Just this April, Cleveland-Cliffs announced it plans to reline a blast furnace at its Burns Harbor, Indiana facility in 2025. Blast furnace relining is incompatible with a climate-safe future and represents a major economic and climate decision that will extend the life of a blast furnace-powered plant for an estimated 18 years. 

Automotive companies are key demand-drivers for both industries: they are the largest global consumer of aluminum and a top global consumer of steel, with automotive steel being the highest value-added major segment of the global steel market, selling for more than 50% more than conventional steel. “Lead the Charge”, an industry leaderboard published earlier this year, that analyzed publicly available official reporting of 18 of the leading automotive manufacturers in the world, ranking their efforts to eliminate emissions, environmental harms, and human rights violations from their supply chains, published earlier this year found that GM ranked 8 out of 18 automakers.  

  

The report calls on GM to take immediate action to address these shortcomings and align its actions with its stated ambitions. Specific demands include:  

  • Pause investment in the Thacker Pass Mine to conduct due diligence on their Indigenous Rights risk exposure in the project. Require suppliers and partners to implement FPIC policies in accordance with UNDRIP. 
  • Commit to ending sourcing from any steel or aluminum supplier connected to human rights violations or the exploitation of Indigenous lands or people. 
  • Adopt specific annual targets for purchases of carbon-free aluminum, reaching zero-carbon aluminum emissions by 2030. 
  • Commit to transition to using 50% low-carbon steel by 2030.   
  • Join global initiatives supporting value chain emission reductions, including ResponsibleSteel, SteelZero, and the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative 

 


Olam’s oil palm development in Gabon violated Forest Stewardship Council’s deforestation rules

Olam’s oil palm development in Gabon violated Forest Stewardship Council’s deforestation rules. 

FSC ‘Policy for Association’ complaint against Olam Group’s deforestation in Gabon 

An independent assessment commissioned by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has concluded that Olam Palm Gabon cleared over 24,000 hectares of forest, as well as between 900 and 1,823 hectares of non-forest areas with High Conservation Values, in violation with the FSC Policy for Association. This was the basis of the complaint Mighty Earth filed with the FSC in 2016. 

The Executive Summary of the SmartCert assessment are published on the FSC website: English, French and Spanish. 

FSC, Olam and Mighty Earth have issued a joint statement on the SmartCert assessment and next steps of the complaint resolution process here. 

Complaint History 

  • In December 2016, Mighty Earth filed a complaint with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), detailing evidence that Olam had cleared large areas of rainforest for oil palm and rubber plantation3 development in Gabon and, as a result, violated the FSC Policy of Association - which ‘clearly define FSC’s ability to take such action against companies that engage in any one of the activities listed as unacceptable’, which include deforestation and the destruction of High Conservation Values (HCVs). 
  • In January 2017, Mighty Earth and Olam took part in a mediation process, facilitated by the World Resources Institute (WRI), which aimed to find an agreement on the recommendations and concerns highlighted in the complaint.  
  • Since January 2017, Olam has maintained a moratorium on any forest clearance. 
  • Also in 2017 Olam, Mighty Earth and a coalition of civil society organizations agreed to collaborate on forest conservation and sustainable agriculture. Following a field trip to Gabon, the parties released a joint statement, which was renewed in 2018. 
  • In May 2019, instead of proceeding with a formal Policy for Association investigation, FSC, Mighty Earth and Olam entered into an Alternative Dispute Resolution process, enabling dialogue between the parties, to address the issues raised in the complaint, through constructive dialogue and mediation. 
  • In April 2020, the FSC commissioned SmartCert (Canada) to ‘provide a third-party assessment on the alleged violation by Olam of FSC’s Policy for Association, as part of an Alternative Dispute Resolution process.’ The assessment below covers Olam’s oil palm operations in Gabon. A separate FSC investigation into rubber is yet to take place. 
  • In August 2022 SmartCert completed its assessment. The Executive Summary of the full report in English, French and Spanish are published on the FSC website. 
  • For further information on the FSC process see FSC’s case history and FSC’s FAQs about the ‘Processing of FSC Policy for Association Complaints.’ 

 Complaint Findings 

Context for findings on High Conservation Values (HCVs): The FSC defines HCVs as biological, ecological, social or cultural values of critical importance or outstanding significance within a landscape which require additional protective measures or safeguards to ensure their long-term maintenance. The six categories of HCVs are: 1. Species diversity; 2. Landscape-level ecosystems and mosaics; 3. Ecosystems and habitats; 4. Ecosystem services; 5. Community needs, and 6. Cultural value. FSC.org 

 SmartCert findings:

  • Between January 2012 – December 2016, Olam converted 24,133 hectares (ha) of forest into oil palm plantations.  
  • Impacts on areas relating to species, habitats, and ecosystem services: (i.e., HCV categories 1- 4)1 between 1,377 and 2,300 hectares (ha), as follows: 
  • Olam’s Lot 1, Lot 2, and Awala concessions: 413 ha of HCV 1 - 4 were converted into oil palm plantations. 
  • Olam’s Mouila Lot 3 and extension concessions: an additional 64 ha of forest in HCV 1 – 4 and between 900 ha and 1,823 ha in non-forest areas were converted into oil palm plantations. 
  • Impacts of oil palm conversion on areas relating to community needs and cultural values (i.e., HCV categories 5 – 6): 
    • FPIC processes were implemented by Olam which obtained the prior consent of communities in exchange for compensation (except in Bemboudié). According to our sampling, Olam has fulfilled the majority (≈85%) of its compensation commitments, including hiring local workers and investing in community projects. However, at the time of our visit, many of the funded infrastructures were degraded and the work conditions offered to workers were criticized.’ 
    • no evidence that communities were provided the opportunity to classify use areas as being fundamental to meeting their basic needs (HCV 5) and to delineate protection buffers around them.’ 
    • no definitive evidence that communities agreed to abandon all the cultural sites (potential HCV 6) destroyed during the plantation development’. 
    • Within all concessions, just over half of the areas identified as being fundamental to meeting the basic needs of local communities (i.e., potential HCV 5) have been maintained, 32% were perceived as degraded and 12% have been converted.  
    • 78% of areas identified as being critical to local communities’ traditional cultural identity (i.e. potential HCV 6) have been maintained, 4% have been degraded and 18% have been converted. 

 Complaint Resolution Process 

As part of the Alternate Dispute Resolution process, the FSC will now hire a third-party to mediate dialogue between Olam and Mighty Earth with the objective of resolving the complaint. The process seeks to determine how Olam will provide ‘full remedy of all environmental and social harms’, in line with FSC’s Remedy Framework which ‘defines permanent and effective measures required for remedy of harm caused by unacceptable activities as defined by the Policy for the Association’. 

 Amanda Hurowitz, Senior Director at Mighty Earth said:  

“The SmartCert assessment concluded that Olam Palm Gabon cleared over 24,000 hectares of forest, as well as between 900 and 1,823 hectares of non-forest areas with High Conservation Values (categories 1-4) in its Moulia Lot 3 concessions, in non-compliance with the FSC Policy for Association. This was the basis of the complaint we raised with the FSC six years ago. We look forward to beginning mediated discussions with Olam about what remedial actions the company needs to take to address the environmental and social harms resulting from its oil palm development.” 


Civil society calls for JBS to be stripped of A minus climate rating

Ler em Português

Civil society calls for JBS to be stripped of A minus climate rating 

 Environmental disclosure group CDP raised Brazilian meat giant’s climate score despite JBS’s huge climate emissions and dire deforestation record   

Letter to CDP_JBS Score complaint_16 March 2023

A global coalition of twenty civil society groups is calling for CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) to revoke the recent A minus score and “Leadership” status awarded to meat giant JBS for its efforts on addressing climate change, amid widespread concerns over rampant greenwashing. Led by Mighty Earth, some of the biggest CSOs, including the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP), Friends of the Earth, Compassion in World Farming, Soil Association and Rainforest Foundation Norway, have joined forces to call out the high grading.  

Background 

CDP is a global disclosure system used by investors, companies, cities, and regions to measure and act on their climate and environmental impacts. The system is widely regarded as one of the gold standards of environmental reporting, but its approach depends on self-declared responses, raising concerns from CSOs about the accuracy of scores being awarded to companies.  

According to CDP, organisations earning a score in the top “Leadership” level “must show environmental leadership, disclosing action on climate change, deforestation or water security” and companies awarded an A minus are “implementing current best practices.” In the case of JBS, this could not be further from the truth. Analysis shows JBS is the single largest corporate greenhouse gas emitter in the animal agriculture sector and the biggest corporate driver of deforestation in Brazil.  

 

Greenwashing claims 

JBS has been accused of greenwashing in a whistle-blower complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed by Mighty Earth. Evidence highlights that $3.2 billion worth of “green bonds” issued by JBS were misleading to investors and allegedly fraudulent. The meat giant has pledged to be net zero by 2040 but independent researchers found it lacks any meaningful decarbonisation plan. Meanwhile, JBS continues to promote its improved climate change rating from CDP, and regularly cites its CDP score with investors. Notably, JBS did not make its 2022 Climate Change response to CDP public. 

Alex Wijeratna, Senior Director at Mighty Earth said: 

“This is a serious case of greenwashing by JBS, who are promoting their new A minus climate score to attract investors. It’s highly misleading for JBS, a notorious Amazon forest destroyer, and one of the world’s largest climate polluters, to receive CDP’s top climate ‘Leadership’ rating.”  

“We’re also seriously concerned that JBS may have misreported in its CDP 2022 Forests disclosure, claiming zero hectares of known or estimated deforestation in its cattle supply chain since 2008. This despite a litany of reports and confirmed cases of deforestation linked to JBS beef supplies since then. We’re urging CDP to withdraw JBS’ A minus Climate Change score immediately and to more broadly reassess its climate scoring methodology.” 

Shefali Sharma, Director of the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy’s European office said: 

“JBS has the largest climate footprint compared to all other livestock companies with a goal to achieve net zero ten years earlier than others. Yet it consistently refuses to publish its full scope of emissions, let alone the number of animals in its supply chain. There’s a fundamental flaw in the current voluntary system of corporate climate governance in that CDP derives over 30% of its revenue from the companies it appraises. We need robust rules for corporate emissions reporting and verification that result in independent appraisal and the elimination of conflicts of interest.” 

Nusa Urbancic, Campaigns Director at Changing Markets said: 

“JBS getting a high climate score points to the glaring methodology gap of third-party scoring organisations, like CDP. Our research indicates that JBS alone is responsible for methane emissions comparable to combined livestock methane emissions of France, Germany, Canada, and New Zealand, yet lacks any plan to address or even adequately report these potent emissions. We desperately need governments to step in, set climate targets and harmonised rules for reporting for big meat industry giants that are heating up our planet.” 

CDP’s contribution to environmental transparency is widely recognised worldwide. However, it is evident that rather than relying on voluntary self-reporting alone, CDP’s scoring methodology needs to consider the public evidence available to ensure accurate scores are awarded. Updates to CDP’s scoring approach should include:  

  • Independent evaluation of companies’ performance on measuring and reducing emissions, not just paper commitments and self-reporting. 
  • All companies to undergo risk evaluations and any adjustments to scores be openly communicated. 
  • All submissions to be made publicly available to enable independent third-party verification and to avoid underreporting or greenwashing.  
  • A scoring methodology with specific criteria that prioritise performance and must be met for companies to achieve a score within each of CDP’s scoring levels.  
  • Food and Agricultural sectors report total animal slaughter numbers and milk intake to support an accurate Scope 3 emissions figure.  

Ends 

Notes to Editors 

Links to analysis of JBS’ performance and practices: 

Emissions 

  • Recent analysis from the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP) and Changing Markets Foundation estimates JBS’s total emissions to be 288 MtCO2e, exceeding the entire emissions of Spain in 2021. 
  • JBS ranked top position in a list of 15 of the world’s largest meat and dairy companies for its methane emissions. 
  • JBS currently fails to report its complete ‘Scope 3’ emissions: producing meat throughout its entire supply chain, where most of its climate impact lies.  
  • Mighty Earth say JBS has failed to disclose the number of cattle and other animals it slaughters annually since 2017, which is crucial for evaluating its emissions claims. 

Deforestation  

  • JBS ranks the worst performing company in Mighty Earth’s Soy & Cattle Deforestation Tracker, achieving only one point out of a possible 100.  
  • Chain Reaction Research estimated that JBS’s deforestation footprint in Brazil is up to 200,000 hectares in its direct supply chain, and 1.5 million hectares in its indirect supply chain since 2008. 
  • Global Witness, Greenpeace, and EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency) highlighted JBS’s continued links to illegal deforestation, operating illegally on protected Indigenous land, and/or making purchases linked to human rights abuses. 
  • Despite the numerous links to deforestation, some of which JBS recently admitted to, JBS reported that”0 hectares of known or estimated deforestation/conversion” have occurred for cattle products since 2008 in its 2022 CDP Forests disclosure, for which it scored a B. 
  • JBS does not plan to eliminate deforestation across its global supply chain until 2035 – giving suppliers 13 more years to bulldoze.  

Emissions targets and alleged greenwashing 

  • In 2021, JBS committed to becoming “Net Zero” across its entire value chain by 2040, but the true scope of the pledge is unclear, given the company grossly underreports its Scope 3 emissions. 
  • JBS’s 2030 emission reduction target for Scope 1 and 2 is highly ambiguous and misleading, as it is unclear if the company aims for absolute or emissions intensity reductions. 
  • JBS were asked to remove the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) logo it previously cited on the Achievements and Certifications page of its website, despite SBTi not having validated its targets. JBS’s lack of measurement and reporting on Scope 3 emissions contradicts the criteria set by the SBTi, which requires companies to set Scope 3 targets if these emissions make up over 40% of the company’s overall GHG footprint. 
  • A complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed by Mighty Earth accuses JBS of misleading investors and calls for a full investigation into $3.2 billion worth of “green bonds” issued by the company. The evidence highlights that JBS’s “Sustainability-Linked bonds” were misleading to investors and allegedly fraudulent. 

No meaningful decarbonisation plans 

  • An evaluation of companies’ climate pledges by the New Climate Institute and Carbon Market Watch ranked JBS “Very low” in both its “Integrity” & “Transparency” categories, for the second year running. The assessment of JBS's overall net zero efforts concludes: "The company plans to continue growth in a GHG emission-intensive industry; we did not find evidence of any planned deep decarbonisation measures. JBS does not have an emission reduction target alongside its net-zero emission target for 2040. Its interim targets for 2030 would lead to a 3% emission reduction compared to its reported 2021 emissions."  
  • Instead of JBS’s emissions footprint shrinking as it heads toward “Net Zero,” recent estimates by IATP and Changing Markets continue to show it has grown by a minimum of 17% between 2016 and 2021. 
  • JBS does not have any methane action plan that would align with the Global Methane Pledge, nor does it report its methane emissions, as recommended in the UN report on Net Zero Commitments. 

 

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: 

Carole Mitchell, Senior Director of Communications (based UK) 

[email protected] 

+44 7917 105000 

Syd Jones, Press Secretary (based US EST)   

[email protected] 

+1 561 809 5522 

Cecelia Brackey, Media, and Communications Manager at IATP (based US, CST) 

[email protected] 

+ 1 651-328-4706 

Nusa Urbancic, Campaigns Director at Changing Markets (based UK) 

[email protected] 

 

About Mighty Earth 

Mighty Earth is a global advocacy organization working to defend a living planet.  Our goal is to protect half of Earth for Nature and secure a climate that allows life to flourish.  We are obsessed with impact and aspire to be the most effective environmental advocacy organization in the world. Our team has achieved transformative change by persuading leading industries to dramatically reduce deforestation and climate pollution throughout their global supply chains in palm oil, rubber, cocoa, and animal feed, while improving livelihoods for Indigenous and local communities across the tropics. 

www.mightyearth.org 


Sociedade civil pede que JBS seja rebaixada da classificação climática "A-"

Sociedade civil pede que JBS seja rebaixada da classificação climática "A-" 

Organizações reivindicam que, apesar dos enormes impactos climáticos das operações da JBS, incluindo o aumento do desmatamento, o grupo de divulgação ambiental CDP elevou a pontuação sobre Mudanças Climáticas da gigante brasileira da carne. 

 

São Paulo, 29 de março de 2023 – Uma coalizão global de quase vinte grupos da sociedade civil está pedindo que o CDP (conhecido anteriormente como Carbon Disclosure Project) revogue a recente pontuação “A-” e o status de "Liderança" concedido à gigante de processamento de carne JBS por seu desempenho no enfrentamento das mudanças climáticas. Liderados pela organização Mighty Earth, alguns dos maiores e mais atuantes grupos, incluindo a Proteção Animal Mundial, o Instituto de Agricultura e Política Comercial (IATP), a Compassion in World Farming, a Soil Association e a Rainforest Foundation Norway, uniram forças para chamar a atenção para a alta classificação.  

Para a Mighty Earth, a JBS está longe de ser uma liderança no combate às mudanças do clima, a classificação concedida pelo CDP é errada e enganosa. Ainda assim, a JBS vem promovendo essa desacreditada pontuação como forma de atrair novos investidores. “Ao invés disso, a empresa deveria estar mais preocupada em divulgar para a sociedade as suas emissões de gases de efeito estufa dentro do ´Escopo 3´, que concentra a maior parte de seu impacto climático, e o número de bovinos e outros animais que abate anualmente, trazendo transparência para as suas alegadas emissões”, afirma o diretor da Mighty Earth no Brasil, João Gonçalves, lembrando que desde 2017 a JBS não divulga os seus números de abate. 

Em carta enviada ao fundador do CDP, Paul Dickson, as organizações signatárias listam uma série de fatores que justificam o rebaixamento da JBS. Entre eles, está a falta de um plano significativo de descarbonização, apesar do comprometimento da empresa em zerar as suas emissões líquidas até 2040. Pela falta de transparência da JBS, a Divisão Nacional de Publicidade do Better Business Bureau (BBB), nos Estados Unidos, considerou que as promessas da empresa são infundadas. Além disso, inúmeros relatórios de organizações como Global Witness, Greenpeace, Environmental Investigation Agency, entre outras, relatam as contínuas ligações da JBS com o desmatamento ilegal na Amazônia e no Cerrado, operações ilegais em Terras Indígenas (TI) e compras ligadas a abusos de direitos humanos. Veja aqui todas as alegações contidas na a carta. 

Letter to CDP_JBS Score Complaint_16 March 2023-PT version (1)

Para a Proteção Animal Mundial, as mudanças climáticas devem ser combatidas com a diminuição da produção animal e a criação com alto nível de bem-estar. Pontos que claramente não são adotados pela JBS.Hoje, aproximadamente dois terços da soja produzida no Brasil, uma das principais causas do desmatamento, e consequentemente das emissões brasileiras de gases de efeito estufa, é destinada à alimentação de animais, principalmente aves e suínos. Sendo a JBS um dos principais clientes dos fornecedores de grãos”, afirma a diretora-executiva da Proteção Animal Mundial no Brasil, Lisa Gunn. 

Enquanto isso, a JBS promove a melhora da sua nota de mudanças climáticas no CDP para investidores e outras partes interessadas. Sistema de divulgação global usado por investidores, empresas e governos para medir e agir sobre seus impactos climáticos e ambientais, o CDP é amplamente reconhecido pelo seu alto padrão em relatórios ambientais, mas sua abordagem depende de respostas autodeclaradas, levantando preocupações sobre a precisão das pontuações concedidas às empresas.  

De acordo com o CDP, as empresas que obtêm pontuação nível de “Liderança” devem “demonstrar liderança ambiental, divulgando ações sobre mudanças climáticas, desmatamento ou segurança hídrica” e as empresas premiadas com A- estão “implementando as melhores práticas atuais”. No caso da JBS, isso não poderia estar mais longe da verdade. Diferentes análises mostram que a JBS é a empresa que mais emite gases de efeito estufa no setor de pecuária e a maior impulsionadora do desmatamento no Brasil. Assim, a classificação equivocada dada pelo CDP, que não reflete com precisão o impacto ambiental e climático da JBS, coloca em risco a própria reputação do grupo, além de implicações mais amplas dessas pontuações desacreditadas para investidores e outras partes interessadas. 

FIM 

Notas aos Editores: 

Veja o explicador de pontuação  do CDP here 

Links para análise do desempenho e das práticas da JBS 

Emissões 

  • Uma análise recente  do Instituto de Política Agrícola e Comercial (IATP) e da Changing Markets Foundation estima que as emissões totais da JBS sejam de 288 MtCO2e, superando todas as emissões da Espanha em 2021. 
  • A JBShttps://www.iatp.org/emissions-impossible-methane-editionhttps://www.iatp.org/emissions-impossible-methane-edition lidera a lista de 15 das maiores empresas de carne e laticínios do mundo por suas emissões de metano.   posição de topo em uma lista de 15 das maiores empresas de carne e laticínios do mundo por suas emissões de metano.  
  • Atualmente, a JBS não informa suas emissões completas do "Escopo 3": produzir carne onde está a maior parte de seu impacto climático. 
  • A Mighty Earth diz que a  JBS não divulgou o número de bovinos e outros animais que abate anualmente desde 2017, o que é crucial para avaliar suas reivindicações de emissões. 

Desmatamento 

  • A JBS não planeja eliminar o desmatamento em toda a sua cadeia de suprimentos global até 2035 – dando aos fornecedores mais 13 anos para demolir. 

Metas de emissões e alegada lavagem verde 

  • Em 2021, a JBS se comprometeu a se tornar "Net Zero" em toda a sua cadeia de valor até 2040, mas o verdadeiro escopo do compromisso não está claro, uma vez que a empresa subestima grosseiramente suas emissões de  Escopo 3. 
  • A Divisão Nacional de Publicidade do Better Business Bureau (BBB) divulgou uma conclusão de que as múltiplas alegações da JBS de que está no caminho para atingir emissões "líquidas zero" até 2040 são infundadas e que a empresa deve interrompê-las. 
  • A meta de redução de emissões da JBS para 2030 para os Escopos 1 e 2 é altamente ambígua e enganosa, pois não está claro se a empresa visa reduções absolutas ou de intensidade de emissões. 
  • A JBS cita o logotipo da iniciativa Metas Baseadas na Ciência (SBTi) na página Conquistas e Certificações de  seu site, apesar de a SBTi não ter validado suas metas. A falta de medição e de relatórios da JBS sobre as emissões do Escopo 3 contradiz o https://sciencebasedtargets.org/resources/files/SBTiFLAGGuidance.pdf  
  • Uma queixa à Comissão de Valores Mobiliários dos EUA (SEC) apresentada pela Mighty Earth acusa a JBS de enganar os investidores e pede uma investigação completa sobre US$ 3,2 bilhões em "títulos verdes" emitidos pela empresa. As evidências destacam que os "Títulos Vinculados à Sustentabilidade" da JBS eram enganosos para os investidores e supostamente fraudulentos.  

Sem planos de descarbonização 

  • Uma avaliação das  promessas climáticas das empresas feita pelo New Climate Institute e pelo Carbon Market Watch classificou a JBS como "Muito baixa" em transparência e integridade. A avaliação não encontrou evidências de nenhuma medida de descarbonização profunda planejada pela JBS – mas diz que  a JBS planeja continuar o crescimento em uma indústria intensiva em emissões de GEE. 
  • Em vez de a pegada de emissões da JBS encolher à medida que se aproxima do "Net Zero", estimativas recentes da  IATP e da Changing Markets continuam a mostrar que ela cresceu no mínimo 17% entre 2016 e 2021. 
  • A JBS não possui nenhum plano de ação de metano que se alinhe ao Global Methane Pledge, nem informa suas emissões de metano, conforme preconizado no relatório  da ONU sobre Compromissos Líquidos Zero. 

Para mais informações ou para marcar uma entrevista, por favor contacte: 

João Gonçalves, Diretor Sênior Brasil (Mighty Earth) 

+55 11 98255 3876 | [email protected]  

 Filipe Peduzzi, Gerente de Comunicações Interino (Proteção Animal Mundial) 

+55 11 99891-9413 | [email protected] 

 Sobre a Mighty Earth 

A Mighty Earth é uma organização global, com sede nos Estados Unidos, que trabalha para defender um planeta vivo.  Nosso objetivo é proteger metade do planeta Terra para a natureza e garantir um clima que permita que a vida floresça. Somos obcecados por impacto e aspiramos ser a organização de defesa ambiental mais eficaz do mundo. Nossa equipe já alcançou mudanças transformadoras persuadindo as principais indústrias a reduzir drasticamente o desmatamento e a poluição climática em todas as suas cadeias de suprimentos globais em óleo de palma, borracha, cacau e ração animal, ao mesmo tempo em que melhora os meios de subsistência das comunidades indígenas e locais.  

www.mightyearth.org 

Sobre a Proteção Animal Mundial 

 A Proteção Animal Mundial é a voz global do bem-estar animal, com mais de 70 anos de experiência em campanhas por um mundo no qual os animais vivam livres de crueldade e sofrimento. Temos escritórios em 12 países e desenvolvemos trabalhos em 47 países ao todo. Colaboramos com comunidades locais, com o setor privado, com a sociedade civil e governos para mudar a vida dos animais para melhor. Nosso objetivo é mudar a maneira como o mundo trabalha para acabar com a crueldade e o sofrimento dos animais selvagens e de produção. Por meio de nossa estratégia global de sistema alimentar, vamos acabar com a pecuária industrial intensiva e criar um sistema alimentar humano e sustentável, que coloca os animais em primeiro lugar. Ao transformar os sistemas falhos que impulsionam a exploração e a mercantilização, daremos aos animais silvestres o direito a uma vida silvestre. Nosso trabalho para proteger os animais desempenhará um papel vital na solução da emergência climática, da crise de saúde pública e da devastação de habitats naturais.  


Chocolate Scorecard 2023: cocoa's impact on deforestation and climate

When biting into a bar of chocolate, many chocolate lovers have no idea where the raw ingredient, cocoa, comes from, nor the impact that its production has on nature and our changing climate.

The 2023 Chocolate Scorecard breaks this down for us by asking major chocolate brands, manufacturers, and traders what they know about their cocoa supply chains and the environmental impact.

A mixed bag of findings 

 This year’s top scorers for addressing deforestation and climate change in supply chains include Original Beans, Tony’s Chocolonely, Beyond Good, Halba, and Aldi. Whilst Kellogg, Daito Cacao, Glico, Starbucks, and Morinaga, are lagging in their application of no-deforestation policies and monitoring systems. Still, their willingness to engage in the scorecard does at least signify a desire to review and address the pitfalls of their environmental policies. This sets them apart from big brands such as Mondelez, Unilever and General Mills; and retailers like Tesco, Walmart, and Whole Foods, who refused to participate in this year’s survey, earning “broken egg” status. So, what are they hiding and why does it matter?  

 

The true cost of Cocoa 

Around 75% of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, with Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the leading producers. In the last 60 years, these two countries have lost around 94% and 80% of their forests, respectively, with at-least one-third of forest loss to make way for expanding cocoa production.  

Despite collaborative efforts to address the industry’s impact on nature, including the launch of the multistakeholder Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) in 2017, cocoa-driven deforestation has continued to clear West Africa’s forests. The recent announcement of a renewed ‘CFI 2.0’ and the enforcement of the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) in 2024, gives some hope for protecting and restoring what precious little is left. But any viable solution requires greater cooperation from chocolate companies to monitor and respond to deforestation in their supply chains.  

On deforestation and climate: what are companies doing well?  

  • Monitoring systems are now embedded in most company sustainability initiatives – a vital step in the journey towards traceable supply chains. The use of ‘polygon mapping’ (marking the boundary of supplier cocoa farms) is now commonplace, with some companies employing more detailed systems such as waypoint monitoring or remote sensing technology. 
  • Collaboration to eradicate deforestation: Many of the participating companies have joined collaborative initiatives including: the 'Cocoa & Forest Initiative' (CFI); Initiatives for Sustainable Cocoa (ISCOs); and the Retailer Chocolate Collaboration (RCC). Joining these platforms is an encouraging and necessary first step to building sustainable solutions, but companies must go beyond this to transparently share supplier information, proactively initiate collective action  on the ground, and work collaboratively with both local and international civil society actors.  
  • Net-Zero carbon emissions targets have been embraced by some companies, leading the way by setting the necessary short- and long-term objectives to ensure global temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees. We need more companies to follow suit and set time-bound policies to achieve net-zero carbon emissions for Scopes 1, 2 & 3 (emissions across the whole supply chain, including from indirect suppliers).  

Where are they falling short?  

  • Limited use of satellite monitoring: Despite rapid advancements in monitoring technology over the past decade, few companies are making use of the widely available satellite or remote sensing tools. Companies are urged to take advantage of these tools and resources to track live deforestation in their supply chain and take preemptive action to stop or remediate this risk. Mighty Earth’s cocoa accountability maps track deforestation in real time and can act as a model for joint industry satellite monitoring systems.  
  • Inconsistent deforestation cut-off dates: The rising implementation of global deforestation-free cocoa and cross-commodity policies, signifies a positive trend in cocoa companies taking issues of deforestation and climate change in their supply chains seriously. However, some companies in this year’s scorecard indicated that they would continue sourcing cocoa from deforested areas until 2023 and beyond (despite the CFI cut-off date of 2017), highlighting the urgent need for a consistent approach. Policy means nothing without action. We need cocoa companies to make specific, consistent, and time-bound objectives for ending deforestation in their supply chains without delay. 
  • Inadequate grievance systems: Whilst many companies have some form of grievance redress mechanism, few are publicly accessible. There are therefore limited opportunities for environmental grievances to be logged by other stakeholders, including farmers and NGOs. Publicly available grievance mechanisms, where all stakeholders can raise complaints about company malpractice across the supply chain, help to strengthen due diligence systems and reduce risk.  

Looking ahead 

 

Sefwi Asempaneya: Ghana - an agroforestry landscape, where cocoa is integrated, and the value of standing trees is recognized

Many of the world’s largest cocoa companies are still at risk of sourcing deforestation cocoa. With the impending enforcement of the European Union Deforestation Regulation, chocolate companies need to take urgent, affirmative action to address deforestation in their supply chains, or risk being sanctioned for non-compliance. It is no longer acceptable to have less than 100% deforestation-free cocoa and, for that matter, 100% deforestation mapping.  

 Deforestation-free cocoa monitoring systems still need to be better implemented in cocoa-producing countries. But in the face of declining cocoa prices and government revenues; farmer poverty; increasing production costs; and countless other challenges, the burden cannot fall solely on cocoa producing farmers and governments who reap a small fraction of the industry’s rewards.  

There is great potential here for companies to enhance their policies, monitoring, and actions. Companies that participated in the 2023 Scorecard are urged to continue to publicly share their sustainability objectives, initiatives, and achievements, as well as (crucially) their supply chain data. Doing so allows us all, as consumers, to keep them accountable and encourage other cocoa companies to improve their approaches to deforestation and climate change.  

Authors: 

  • Stephanie Perkiss is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting at the University of Wollongong and explores social and environmental accounting and accountability in her research – you can either make yourself accountable or be made accountable by someone else! 
  • Sam Mawutor is a Ph.D. student at Oregon State University and a Senior Advisor at Might Earth. His research examines the cocoa agrarian question in southwestern Ghana.  

 

Chocolate Scorecard 2023

Tesco : a basket of problems for the Amazon

팜유와 목재의 공룡 코린도, 시민 사회단체들을 침묵시키기 위한 장기 소송에서 철수

코린도의 사업은 목재, 종이, 고무, 팜유에서 재생 에너지에 이르기까지 전 세계로 뻗어 있다. 2016년, Mighty Earth, Rainforest Rescue, 그리고 몇몇 인도네시아와 한국의 비정부 기구(Non-Governmental Organizations, NGO)는 인도네시아 파푸아에서 팜유 사업을 하는 코린도의 방만한 삼림 벌채를 강조하는 서한에 서명했다. 해당 서한들은 독일에 있는 케너텍의 주요 풍력 타워 고객들에게 보내졌다.

 

2017년 Mighty Earth는 코린도가 파푸아에서 3만 ha 이상의 인도네시아 열대우림을 황폐화한 것과 관련하여 국제적 지속가능한 산림경영 인증기관인 국제산림관리협의회(Forest Stewardship Council, FSC)에 고발했다. FSC는 조사에 착수했다.1

 

2018년 코린도는 법무법인 LPA 싱가포르에 2016년도 서한에 서명한 단체 중 최소 7군데에 위협적인 이메일을 보내라고 지시했다. 그 내용은 다음과 같았다: '코린도의 정책은 -코린도의 사업 이익을 훼손할 의도나 영향력을 가지고- 코린도에 대한 잘못된 정보를 유포하거나 사실과 다른 공개 발언을 하는 개인이나 단체에 대해 법적 조치를 취하는 것이다. 따라서, 현재 코린도는 Mighty Earth에 대한 법적 조치를 시작하고 있다.'

 

2019년 코린도 케너텍의 독일 변호사2는 Mighty Earth의 재정 후원자였던 국제정책센터(Center for International Policy, CIP)와 독일 NGO Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue)를 상대로 독일에서 명예훼손 소송을 제기했다. 케너텍의 독일 변호사는 Siemens AG (독일), Gamesa Corporation (현 Siemens Gamesa), Nordex SE (독일) 등 독일의 풍력 타워 고객들에게 보낸 편지의 진술이 코린도의 명예를 훼손한다고 주장했다.

 

2019년 코린도의 법률 대리인은 Mighty Earth의 2017년도 고발을 근거로 코린도의 정책 위반을 조사하던 FSC를 협박했다. 조사 결과 코린도는 지난 5년간 3만 ha  이상의 산림(축구장 42,000개에 해당)을 파괴했으며, FSC 규정을 위반해 원주민의 전통과 인권을 침해한 것으로 드러났다.3 조사에 따르면 ‘코린도는 인도네시아 파푸아의 원주민 공동체 소유의 토지에서 수확한 목재에 대한 과소 지급으로 3억 달러를 빼앗은 것’으로 추정된다.4

 

2021년 말, FSC는 코린도가 FSC와 협력하지 않고 임업과 팜유 사업의 문제점을 해결하는 절차에 합의하지 못한 것을 근거로 코린도의 회원 자격을 박탈했다.5

 

 

코린도, 합의에 동의하다

 

2023년 2월 21일 케너텍과 Rainforest Rescue는 독일 법원의 제안에 따라 3년 전 코린도가 부추킨 분쟁을 해결하기로 합의했다. 판사는 케너텍이 Mighty Earth가 서명한 편지의 진술을 바탕으로 CIP를 고소할 수 없다고 선언했다.

 

SLAPP 소송은 시민 사회단체들을 침묵시키고 위협하여 그들이 서신에서 일부 진술을 반복하는 것을 금지하도록, 그리고 위반 시 각각의 위반 사례에 대해 250,000유로의 벌금, 혹은 투옥에 처하도록 설계되었음이 분명하다.

 

 

SLAPP이란?

 

이 소송은 감시 단체, 활동가, 언론인, 노동조합, 언론 단체 및 공익을 대표하는 사람들을 괴롭히고 후원을 고갈시키기 위해 대기업 또는 유명 인사들이 제기하는 SLAPP(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) 소송의 한 예이다.

 

 

Mighty Earth 동남아시아 담당 선임 이사인 Amanda Hurowitz 말했다:

 

"Mighty Earth와 우리 NGO 동맹들을 침묵시키려는 코린도의 시도에는 전혀 근거가 없다. 3년만에 독일 법원이 이 사건의 기각을 준비하자, 코린도는 마침내 물러났다.  'Mighty Earth', 'CIP', 'Rainforest Rescue'는 코린도에 대한 손해배상과 기타 명령 준수를 면제받았고 소송비용 대부분은 코린도가 부담하기로 합의했다.”

"지구를 파괴하는 악덕 기업들이 팜유, 목재, 콩, 쇠고기와 기타 다른 상품 생산을 위해 자행하는 삼림 벌채는 기후를 변화시키고 자연을 망치고 있다. 이를 세계 차원에서 저지하는 시민 사회 단체들의 정당한 활동에 재갈을 물리려는 소송이 남발되어서는 안 된다. 그것은 법원의 시간을 낭비할 뿐이다.”

 

 

CIP Rainforest Rescue 담당하는 독일 법무법인 Damm & Mann Roger Mann 교수는 이렇게 말했다:

 

"3년이 넘어 법원이 이 사건을 완전히 기각하려는 경향을 보이자 코린도는 법원이 제시한 합의 제안을 받아들였다. 법원은 초기 단계에서 CIP에 대한 주장과 두 피고에 대한 취소 청구는 전혀 실익이 없다는 것을 분명히 했다."

코린도의 불법 방화에 대한 진술과 관련하여 피고인들은 수많은 사실과 증거들을 제시했고, 법원이 인도네시아에서 증인 청문회를 고려할 정도였다. 그렇게 진행되지 않은 이유는 재판부가 재판관 교체 후 원고의 사업은 풍력 발전업이고, 코린도 팜유 사업에 관여하지 않았기 때문에 금지명령구제의 대상이 아니라 판단했기 때문이다."

 

 

Franky Samperante, Yayasan Pusaka (인도네시아) 말했다:

 

"수십 년 동안, 코린도는 은밀하게 원주민들의 토지 권리를 침해해왔다. 코린도는 피해를 입은 파푸아 원주민 공동체의 권리를 존중하고 회복시켜야 하며, 지역 환경을 보호하기 위해 진지하게 헌신해야 한다."

 

 

Andi Muttaqien, Satya Bumi (인도네시아): 

 

코린도는 수만 헥타르의 파푸아 열대우림을 파괴했다. 코린도는 숲과 원주민들을 보호하는 운동가들의 캠페인을 침묵시키기 위해 자원들을 낭비할 게 아니라, 자신들이 야기한 피해의 복구를 위해 그 자원과 돈을 사용해야 한다.

 

 

신영, 공익법센터 어필(한국)

 

"만약 코린도가 본인들의 신뢰성과 환경 및 인권 분야의 성과를 개선하는 데 진지하다면, 코린도는 자신들의 학대에 맞서려고 노력한 시민 사회단체들에 대한 법적 괴롭힘을 중단하고, 본인들이 파괴한 숲 서식지를 복구하고, 피해를 입은 파푸아 원주민 공동체에 배상해야 한다."

 

 

 Ends 

Notes to Editors: 

1 FSC, Mighty Earth의 2017년 5월 고발 후 코린도에 대한 조사에 착수하다
2 변호인 Manner & Spangenberg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB, An der Alster 64, 20099 Hamburg, Germany, Ref.: 10025-003 SCM 
3 2017년 12월  코린도 팜유 농장 관련한 FSC 고발 패널 현장 답사 후 코린도에 대한 FSC의 조사 결과 개요 FSC
4 Mongabay The Gecko Project가 FSC 고발 패널 보고서의 유출된 버전을 기반으로 한 보고.
5 FSC, 코린도의 회원자격 박탈을 발표하다. 2021년 10월 16일 FSC 보도자료

 


Tesco : a basket of problems for the Amazon

Akhirnya, Korindo Cabut Gugatan ‘SLAPP’ Tak Berdasar terhadap Sejumlah Organisasi Masyarakat Sipil

Hamburg, Jerman 21 Februari 2023 - Sebuah perusahaan milik grup usaha Korindo telah mengakhiri gugatan yang sudah berjalan lama, setelah hakim menunjukkan gelagat akan membatalkan gugatan tersebut. Gugatan PT Kenertec Power Systems jelas dimaksudkan untuk
membungkam kampanye masyarakat sipil untuk melindungi hutan hujan, di provinsi Papua Indonesia, yang terancam oleh operasi kelapa sawit Korindo yang ekstensif.

Latar Belakang
Bisnis Korindo tersebar di seluruh dunia, mulai dari kayu, kertas, karet, dan minyak sawit hingga energi terbarukan. Pada 2016, Mighty Earth, Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald), dan
beberapa organisasi masyarakat sipil di Indonesia dan Korea menandatangani surat yang menyoroti deforestasi yang dilakukan Korindo dalam operasi kelapa sawitnya yang masif di Papua, Indonesia.
Surat-surat tersebut dikirim ke pelanggan PT Kenertec di Jerman.

Pada 2017 Mighty Earth mengajukan komplain kepada Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), sebuah badan sertifikasi kehutanan global, terkait pembabatan sekitar 30.000 hektar hutan tropis di Papua,
Indonesia, oleh Korindo. Kemudian FSC melakukan investigasi atas laporan tersebut. [1]

Pada 2018, Korindo menginstruksikan sebuah firma hukum Singapura untuk mengirimkan email berisikan somasi kepada sedikitnya tujuh organisasi yang menandatangani surat pada 2016 tersebut. Email tersebut menyatakan: “Kebijakan Korindo adalah melakukan tindakan hukum terhadap individu atau organisasi yang menyebarkan informasi yang tidak benar atau membuat pernyataan publik yang keliru secara faktual tentang Korindo - dengan maksud atau dampak untuk merusak kepentingan bisnis Korindo. Oleh karena itu, Korindo memproses tindakan hukum terhadap Mighty Earth.” Pada 2019, PT Kenertec Power Systems mengajukan gugatan pencemaran nama baik di Jerman, terhadap Center for International Policy (CIP), yang pernah menjadi sponsor fiskal Mighty Earth, dan lembaga non-profit Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue) di Jerman. Pengacara Kenertec
menilai bahwa pernyataan dalam surat yang dikirim ke pelanggan menara angin di Jerman, yakni Siemens AG (Jerman), Gamesa Corporation (sekarang Siemens Gamesa) dan Nordex SE (Jerman), adalah sebuah fitnah.

Pada 2019, pengacara Korindo mengancam FSC yang tengah menyelidiki dugaan pelanggaran kebijakan Korindo berdasarkan pengaduan Mighty Earth pada 2017. Investigasi FSC mengungkap bahwa Korindo telah menghancurkan lebih dari 30.000 hektar hutan (atau setara dengan 42.000 lapangan sepak bola) di lima tahun sebelumnya dan melanggar hak masyarakat dan Hak Asasi Manusia, yang bertentangan dengan standar FSC. [2] Investigasi tersebut memperkirakan Korindo telah merugikan masyarakat adat sebesar 300 juta dolar AS, dengan membayar murah kayu yang
diambil dari tanah mereka. [3]

Pada akhir 2021, FSC mengeluarkan Korindo dari keanggotaan atas karena tidak kooperatif terhadap FSC dan gagal menyepakati ketentuan untuk menangani dampak kerusakan atas aktivitasnya terhadap hutan dan perkebunan kelapa sawitnya. [4]
Korindo Sepakat Akhiri Sengketa
Pada 21 Februari 2023, Kenertec dan Rainforest Rescue sepakat untuk menyelesaikan sengketa yang diajukan oleh Korindo tiga tahun lalu, berdasarkan usul yang diajukan oleh pengadilan Jerman. Hakim menyatakan bahwa Kenertec tidak dapat menuntut CIP atas pernyataan yang dibuat dalam surat yang ditandatangani oleh Mighty Earth.

Gugatan SLAPP yang diajukan pihak Korindo jelas dirancang untuk membungkam dan mengintimidasi kelompok masyarakat sipil dan mencegah mereka mengulangi beberapa pernyataan dalam surat, atau di denda €250.000 dalam setiap kasus pelanggaran, atau menghadapi hukuman penjara.

Gugatan SLAPP atau Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation adalah contoh Gugatan Strategis Melawan Partisipasi Publik, di mana perusahaan besar atau individu terkenal, mengajukan tuntutan hukum yang dirancang untuk melecehkan dan menguras sumber daya substansial dari organisasi pengawas, aktivis, jurnalis, serikat pekerja, organisasi media, dan mereka yang mewakili kepentingan publik.

Direktur Senior Mighty Earth untuk Asia Tenggara, Amanda Hurowitz mengatakan, dalam kasus ini upaya Korindo untuk membungkam Mighty Earth dan koalisi organisasi masyarakat sipil, sejak awal sama sekali tidak berdasar. “Akhirnya setelah tiga tahun, saat pengadilan Jerman akan membatalkan gugatan tersebut, Korindo mencabut gugatannya. Mereka setuju untuk menyelesaikan gugatan ini tanpa ganti rugi atau perintah pengadilan yang diberikan melawan Mighty Earth, CIP atau Rainforest Rescue dan mereka setuju untuk membayar sebagian besar biaya pengadilan,” tuturnya.
“Perusahaan nakal yang menghancurkan bumi ini tidak boleh dibiarkan menyia-nyiakan waktu pengadilan dengan manuver gugatan yang ditujukan untuk mengintimidasi kelompok masyarakat sipil yang selama ini menyuarakan penghentian deforestasi global dari ekspansi sektor minyak kelapa sawit, kayu, kedelai, daging sapi, dan komoditas lainnya, demi mengatasi perubahan iklim dan rusaknya alam,” lanjut Amanda.

Professor Roger Mann, pengacara Jerman untuk CIP dan Rainforest Rescue menyatakan:
“Setelah lebih dari tiga tahun gugatan ini berjalan, Korindo kemudian menerima proposal penyelesaian yang diajukan pengadilan. Pengadilan telah memperjelas, pada tahap awal, bahwa tuntutan terhadap CIP dan pencabutan terhadap kedua tergugat sama sekali tidak berdasar.” “Terkait tuntutan ganti rugi sehubungan dengan pernyataan tentang pembakaran ilegal oleh Korindo, para tergugat telah mengajukan banyak fakta dan memberikan banyak bukti sehingga pengadilan mempertimbangkan untuk mendengarkan saksi di Indonesia. Hal ini tidak terjadi karena, setelah pergantian hakim, pengadilan menyatakan bahwa penggugat tidak berhak mendapatkan ganti rugi, karena bisnisnya adalah turbin angin, dan tidak terlibat dalam bisnis kelapa sawit Korindo.”

Franky Samperante (Yayasan Pusaka) mengatakan:
“Selama beberapa dekade terakhir, Korindo berhasil lolos dari perhatian atas pelanggaran hak tanah masyarakat adat. Korindo harus memiliki komitmen serius untuk melindungi lingkungan dan menghormati serta memulihkan hak-hak korban masyarakat adat Papua.”

Andi Muttaqien (Satya Bumi) mengatakan:
“Korindo telah menghancurkan puluhan ribu hektar hutan tropis di Papua. Perusahaan harus membayar untuk pemulihan kerusakan lingkungan yang ditimbulkan, bukan sibuk membungkam pegiat lingkungan yang berupaya melindungi hutan dan hak masyarakat adat.”

Shin Young, Advokat untuk Hukum Kepentingan Umum, APIL (Korea):
“Jika Korindo serius dalam memperbaiki kredibilitas, memegang komitmen lingkungan serta HAM, maka Korindo memang harus mencabut gugatan hukum terhadap kelompok masyarakat sipil yang selama ini bersuara menentang pelanggaran yang dilakukan perusahaan. Kemudian memulihkan habitat hutan yang telah hancur, membayar ganti rugi kepada korban masyarakat adat Papua.

***

Kontak:
Franky Samperante (Yayasan Pusaka Bentala): 0813 1728 6019
Andi Muttaqien (Satya Bumi) : 0812 1996 984
Catatan kaki:
1 FSC menyelidiki Korindo setelah Mighty Earth mengajukan keluhan Mei 2017
2 Ringkasan FSC tentang temuan soal Korindo, setelah Panel Pengaduan FSC turun mengunjungi
perkebunan kelapa sawit Korindo pada Desember 2017 FSC
3 Seperti yang dilaporkan oleh Mongabay and The Gecko Project berdasarkan versi bocoran dari
laporan lengkap Panel Pengaduan FSC
4 FSC mengumumkan pemutusan hubungan dengan Korindo. Siaran Pers FSC 16 Oktober 2021
Gambar dan B-roll tersedia disini

 


Mighty Earth reacts to US Steel agreement to supply General Motors with sustainable steel

U.S. Steel has announced it will supply General Motors (GM) with its advanced and sustainable steel solution called verdeX® steel. The company says the steel is manufactured with up to 75 percent fewer emissions compared to traditional blast furnace production, is made with up to 90 percent recycled content and is endlessly recyclable without degradation.

Responding to the announcement, Glenn Hurowitz, CEO at Mighty Earth said:  

“With 60 percent of emissions projected to come from the materials that go into a car by 2040, scaling up clean steel is exactly what GM and other automakers should be doing.  But GM and US Steel should share what the scope of this agreement is. Is this enough steel for a few Chevies on display at an auto show, or is it going to change the way they build their whole fleet?” 

The announcement comes a few days after Mighty Earth launched a seven-figure advertising and organizing campaign urging GM to shift to carbon-free aluminum, steel, and other materials.  

Notes for editors:  

  • Link to the announcement here 
  • Mighty Earth’s advocacy of Responsible Steel resulted in the review achieving the “fastest global transition to a near zero steel sector.”  
  • The new Responsible Steel standard is the only one for the industry that include upstream scope 3 emissions, i.e., the emissions for mining etc., are counted 

Ends 

 For more information or to arrange an interview contact: 

Matt Groch, Senior Director, Decarbonization 

[email protected] 

Carole Mitchell, Senior Director of Communications, 

[email protected] 

Syd Jones, Press Secretary  

[email protected] 

 


Tesco : a basket of problems for the Amazon

Palm oil and timber giant Korindo backs down in long-running case to silence civil society organizations

Baca dalam Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa language press release

(Hamburg, Germany 21 Feb 2023) The plaintiff in the legal proceedings, a company belonging to the Korindo group of businesses, has agreed to end a long-running lawsuit, after a judge in Germany looked set to dismiss the case. PT Kenertec Power Systems’ lawsuit was obviously intended to silence a civil society campaign to protect rainforest, in Indonesia’s Papua province, threatened by Korindo’s extensive palm oil operations.  

Background 

Korindo’s operations span the globe, ranging from timber, paper, rubber, and palm oil to renewable energy. In 2016, Mighty Earth, Rainforest Rescue and several Indonesian and Korean NGOs (non-governmental organisations) were signatories to a letter highlighting Korindo’s rampant deforestation in its huge palm oil operations in Papua, Indonesia. The letters were sent to Kenertec’s major wind tower customers in Germany. 

In 2017 Mighty Earth submitted a complaint to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a global sustainable forestry certification body, regarding Korindo’s clearing of more than 30,000 hectares of Indonesian rainforests in Papua. The FSC launched an investigation.1 

In 2018, Korindo instructed legal firm, LPA Singapore, to send threatening emails to at least seven organizations that signed the 2016 letter. The email stated: 'Korindo’s policy is to engage legal actions against individuals or organisations that circulate incorrect information or make factually erroneous public statements about Korindo - with the intention or effect to damage Korindo’s business interests. Korindo is consequently in the process of initiating legal actions against Mighty Earth.’ 

In 2019, Korindo’s PT Kenertec Power Systems German lawyers2 filed a libel lawsuit in Germany, against the Center for International Policy (CIP), a former fiscal sponsor to Mighty Earth, and the German NGO, Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue). Kenertec’s German lawyer argued that statements, made in letters sent to wind tower customers in Germany, namely Siemens AG (Germany), Gamesa Corporation (now Siemens Gamesa) and Nordex SE (Germany), were defamatory. 

In 2019 Korindo’s legal firm, threatened the FSC, which was investigating Korindo’s violations of its policies, based on Mighty Earth’s 2017 complaint. The investigation found that Korindo had destroyed more than 30,000 hectares of forest  (equivalent to 42,000 football fields) in the previous five years and committed violations of Indigenous peoples’ traditional and human rights, in contravention of FSC standards.3 The investigation estimated that Korindo haddeprived indigenous communities in Indonesia’s Papua province of $300 million by underpaying for the timber harvested from their lands 4 

In late 2021, the FSC expelled Korindo based on its failure to cooperate with the FSC and agree on a process to address the impacts of its forestry and palm oil operations.5 

Korindo agrees to settle  

On 21 February 2023 Kenertec and Rainforest Rescue agreed to settle the dispute, instigated by Korindo three years ago, based on a proposal put forward by the German court. The judge declared that Kenertec could not sue CIP for statements made in the letter signed by Mighty Earth. 

The SLAPP lawsuit was obviously designed to silence and intimidate the civil society groups and prevent them from repeating some statements in the letters, or be fined €250,000 in each case of violation, or face imprisonment.  

What is SLAPP? 

The lawsuit is an example of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP suit, in which big corporations or high-profile individuals, file lawsuits designed to harass and drain substantial resources from watchdog organizations, activists, journalists, trade unions, media organizations, and those who represent the public interest. 

Amanda Hurowitz, Senior Director for Southeast Asia, Mighty Earth said: 

“Korindo’s attempt to silence Mighty Earth and our NGO allies was completely baseless. Finally, after three years, as a German court was preparing to dismiss the case, Korindo backed down. They agreed to settle without any damages or injunctions being awarded against Mighty Earth, CIP or Rainforest Rescue and agreed to pay most of the court’s legal costs.” 

“Rogue companies that destroy the planet shouldn’t be wasting the courts’ time with cases aimed at gagging civil society groups, who are rightly pushing for a global end to deforestation for palm oil, timber, soy, beef, and other commodities, to tackle climate change and nature loss.”  

Professor Roger Mann of German legal firm, Damm & Mann, acting for CIP and Rainforest Rescue, said:   

“After more than three years, Korindo has accepted a settlement proposal made by the court after it was inclined to dismiss the case completely. The court had made it clear, at an early stage, that the claims against CIP and for revocation against both defendants were completely without merit.”  

“Regarding the claims for injunctive relief in relation to the statement about the setting of illegal fires by Korindo, the defendants had presented so many facts and offered so much evidence that the court considered hearing witnesses in Indonesia. This did not happen because, after a change of judge, the court indicated that the plaintiff was not entitled to injunctive relief because its business was wind turbines, and it wasn’t involved in the palm oil business of Korindo.” 

Franky Samperante, Yayasan Pusaka (Indonesia) said: 

“For decades, Korindo has gotten away with violating indigenous peoples’ land rights without exposure. Korindo should be seriously committed to respect and recover the rights of affected Papuan Indigenous communities and protect local environment. 

Andi Muttaqien, Satya Bumi (Indonesia):  

Korindo has destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of rainforest in Papua. The company should be using its resources and money to restore the damage it has caused, instead of wasting them to silence activist campaigns in protecting forests and indigenous peoples. 

Shin Young, Advocates for Public Interest Law, APIL (Korea)  

“If Korindo is serious about improving its credibility and environmental and human rights performance, it needs to stop its legal harassment of civil society groups who have tried to stand up to its abuses, restore the forest habitat it destroyed and pay restitution to affected Papuan Indigenous communities." 

 Ends 

Notes to Editors: 

1 FSC launches investigation into Korindo after Mighty Earth files complaint, Mighty Earth May 2017 

2 Lawyers Manner & Spangenberg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB, An der Alster 64, 20099 Hamburg, Germany, Ref.: 10025-003 SCM 

3 FSC overview of findings against Korindo, following the FSC Complaint Panel field trip to the Korindo’s palm oil plantations in December 2017 FSC  

4 As reported by Mongabay and The Gecko Project based on a leaked version of the full FSC Complaint Panel report. 

5 FSC announces disassociation from Korindo. FSC press release 16 October 2021  

Images and broll available here 


Sweet Nothings: Deforestation Remains High across Ghana & Côte d’Ivoire

Update: 

As of March 28th, RADD alerts have highlighted at least 3,300 hectares of forest disturbances in Ghanaian cocoa-growing regions and 2,600 hectares of disturbances in Ivorian cocoa-growing regions since January 1st, 2023.

---------------------------

 

In February 2022, Mighty Earth published our Sweet Nothings report in which we highlighted the unfulfilled promises of cocoa buyers and chocolate companies to halt cocoa-driven deforestation in West Africa and beyond. Our investigation uncovered evidence of ongoing tropical forest destruction in the key cocoa-growing regions of both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. 

 One year on, we’ve taken another look at the satellite data and, sadly, the overall picture has not improved. Deforestation across Côte d'Ivoire & Ghana’s cocoa growing regions in 2022 remained stubbornly high. RADD alerts — radar alerts that highlight forest loss in near-real time — picked up over 8,000 hectares (ha) of forest disturbance in Côte d'Ivoire, the most since 2019. In Ghana, RADD alerts highlighted over 12,000 ha of disturbance, similar to the amount of forest lost in 2021.  

This is concerning as it has now been several years since the cocoa industry committed to take action on deforestation. At the November 2017 UN Climate Change Conference, the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana – along with cocoa traders and leading chocolate manufacturers (including Nestlé, Hershey’s, Mondelez, Unilever, and Mars) – signed the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) Framework for Action. This was followed in early 2019 by the publication of detailed action plans, raising hopes that companies across the cocoa supply chain would take decisive measures to end deforestation caused by the expansion of cocoa plantations in West Africa and work to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems.   

 Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that companies and governments have failed to make progress since this time. In Cote d’Ivoire, tree cover loss in cocoa growing regions has steadily increased from 5,500 ha in 2019 to 8,400 ha in 2022.  In Ghana, the trend is less consistent, but just as dire. Tree cover loss in cocoa growing regions has averaged ~12,000 ha since 2019, with ~12,350 ha in 2022.  

This is particularly concerning as Ghana is estimated to have lost 65% of its forest cover over the past thirty years, while Côte d’Ivoire has lost as much as 90% of its forests over a similar period.  With a 2018 estimate showing just ~1,007,000 ha of primary humid tropical forest remaining in Ghanaian cocoa growing regions, and 1,035,000 ha in Côte d'Ivoire, these losses are very significant: 4.7% of remaining forests have been lost in Ghana over the past four years, and 2.6% in Cote d’Ivoire.  


Source: Analysis (in Google Earth Engine) based on data from Wageningen University, in collaboration with World Resources Institute‘s Global Forest Watch program, Google, European Space Agency, University of Maryland and Deltares (2020). 

Furthermore, estimates of forest loss based on RADD alerts are likely quite conservative, as they monitor a  tropical forest basemap that only includes dense, humid tropical forests. IMAGES, the ‘official’ platform for forest monitoring adopted by both the CFI and Ivorian government paints an even scarier picture as the platform monitors more forest coverage than RADD: data from the IMAGES platform shows that more than 54,000 ha disturbance alerts were detected in Côte d'Ivoire’s cocoa growing regions in 2022, higher than both 2020 & 2021. 

 Source: Data from the IMAGES Platform's Early Warning System, licensed by Vivid Economics & co-financed by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP).

 With new legislation soon banning the sale of agricultural products linked to deforestation on EU markets, companies and governments in West Africa now have no choice but to take seriously their previous commitments to protect forests in cocoa growing regions. Mighty Earth once again calls upon the CFI and its members to adopt a publicly available deforestation monitoring system, publish supply chain information related to cocoa sourcing, support sustainable cocoa-growing practices, and actively work to rehabilitate degraded forest landscapes. 

For more information on our data and calculations, please rexplore Mighty Earth’s Cocoa Accountability Maps for Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana or reach out to [email protected].