Environmental Journalist Georgina Gustin of Inside Climate News discusses the findings of her March 2021 article "Big Banks Make a Dangerous Bet on the World’s Growing Demand for Food" with the subtitle "While banks and asset managers are promising to divest from fossil fuels, they are expanding investments in high-carbon foods and commodities tied to deforestation." (such as animal meat, cow's milk, and palm oil). This 25-minute interview by host Carrie Freeman for In Tune to Nature radio show (March 24, 2021), explores how increasing financial investments in the ag sector are a "catastrophic blindspot" when it comes to calls for carbon divestment, and how it's difficult to have deforestation-free investment fund guarantees due to food companies not demanding more transparency from their supply chain to disclose deforestation and greenhouse emissions linked to climate change. We discuss lack of government regulations for mandatory disclosure of climate risks, and the financial incentives of investing in cheap meat to profit off of feeding a growing human population, despite environmental problems.
Some of the big banks in her article include Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Rabobank, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, and some of the biggest Asset Managers are Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street. There is a need for climate-friendly investment policies to be strengthened and include agricultural investments, especially those linked to deforestation. Even current funds labeled "sustainable" funds, may not account for food/meat companies unless consumers demand it.
Cover photo is of cows at a Texas feedlot, Credit: Getty Images, Daniel Acker.
In Tune to Nature is a radio program aired each Wednesday from 6:30-7pm EST on Radio Free Georgia (wrfg.org) on 89.3FM-Atlanta, hosted by Sonia Swartz, Melody Paris, and Carrie Freeman. Please support independent, non-commercial media like Radio Free Georgia. Stay in touch at www.facebook.com/intunetonature