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|Amazon Destruction Financed by BlackRock, World’s Biggest Investment Firm | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife|
Rainforest rights: Activists gathered outside the Brazilian Consulate in San Francisco on June 21, 2019, urging Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to protect the Amazon and respect Indigenous rights. The private sector must also play a role. “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” wrote Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm, in his annual letter to CEOs last year, calling for “sustainable, long-term growth.” He added, “Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” These sentiments, however, are at odds with his firm’s practice. As the nonprofit Amazon Watch points out, “BlackRock’s portfolio includes many companies operating in the Amazon; companies whose operations both contribute to rainforest deforestation and run roughshod over the territorial rights, health and ways of life of the hundreds of indigenous peoples with unique languages and cultures who live in and rely on the rainforest for their livelihoods and wellbeing.” (Photo credit: Peg Hunter/Flickr)
Action Network: BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm, has more money invested in the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries—the biggest drivers of climate change—than any other company in the world. That means that BlackRock’s portfolio constitutes a huge liability for putting the planet on a path towards runaway climate change. In fact, BlackRock contributes more to climate change than almost any other company on Earth. The Amazon rainforest and its Indigenous inhabitants are under acute threat from BlackRock, which is taking advantage of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s removal of environmental barriers to economic activities in the Amazon. And now they will have even more access to deforestation and destruction. Bolsonaro has advocated for the opening of new areas of the Amazon rainforest to agriculture and industry. As a result, BlackRock announced plans to expand its operations in Brazil after Bolsonaro was elected. Moves like this signal strong support for Bolsonaro, whose rhetoric is inspiring violence against Indigenous communities in the Amazon and beyond. As one of the largest investors in Brazil’s agribusiness industry, BlackRock could use its financial clout to curb, not encourage, further forest destruction. It should divest from companies that continue these destructive practices.
Care2: Trump’s main campaign goal of erecting a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is not only unnecessary and a bad use of funds—it would also actively harm the environment. The walls that already exist along that border show us just how damaging a more expansive one would be. Borders are not real; they are imaginary lines created by humans to maintain power and hierarchies. Wildlife doesn’t care about which country says it owns a certain piece of land: Animals live and travel where they need to. And because borders are so arbitrarily drawn with zero consideration for the environment, they wreak havoc on natural habitats. There are already some wall-like structures across the U.S.-Mexico border, and they are causing huge problems. For one thing, birds are literally getting stuck in the structures during migration, while other land-based creatures are hemmed in and prevented from moving around. And animals are not the only ones suffering. Water drainage, protected areas and more are not even being considered before these barriers are placed.
WWF: From beaches in Indonesia to the Arctic, plastic is choking our planet. Most plastic becomes trash after a single use. It has contaminated the soil, rivers and oceans. Eight million metric tons of plastic ends up in the oceans every year. They break down into tiny bits of microplastic, small enough to enter our food chain, along with other types of microplastics like those that are released when we wash our clothes. On average, we could be ingesting around five grams of plastic every week—the equivalent weight of a credit card. In fact, we could be consuming, on average, over 100,000 pieces of microplastic every year. That’s approximately 21 grams a month, just over 250 grams a year. Many of us are doing our bit to reduce plastic pollution, but it’s time that governments and businesses took responsibility too.