Sending Office: Honorable Peter A. DeFazio
Sent By:
James.Huddleston@mail.house.gov

DEADLINE COB TOMORROW: Cosign Letters to Multinational Corporations & Financial Institutions with Business in Brazil

Current Cosigners: Katie Hill, McGovern, Norton

Endorsed by: Amazon Watch & Friends of the Earth

Dear Colleague:

I invite you to sign the below letters urging multinational companies and financial institutions to use their influence and call upon the Government of Brazil to take aggressive steps to quell the Amazon fires and enforce their own deforestation laws.
Identical letters are being circulated in the Senate by Senators Schatz and Whitehouse.

The letters are directed at companies that signed the New York Declaration on Forests, an agreement that is a partnership of government, multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and indigenous peoples who strive to cut deforestation in half
by 2020 and end it altogether by 2030.

The first letter is directed at consumer-facing companies, many of which source materials from the Amazon region that contribute to deforestation. These companies include:

Cargill, Danone, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, L’Oreal, Marks & Spencer, McDonalds, Mondelez, Nestle, Pick n Pay, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, Unilever, Walmart, Yum! Brands

The second letter is directed at financial institutions, many of which have significant investments and operations in Brazil. These financial institutions include:

Barclays, Boston Common Asset Management, Calvert Investment Management, Deutsche Bank, Lloyd’s Banking Group, Miller/Howard Investments, Trillium Asset Management

If you would like to sign one or both of these letters, please contact James Huddleston at
james.huddleston@mail.house.gov.
The deadline for signing is COB Tuesday, September 10.

Sincerely,

Peter A. DeFazio    

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Letter to Consumer-Facing Companies

We are writing to you because your company has expressed a commitment to forest protection and restoration by endorsing the New York Declaration on Forests.  In the context of global deforestation, the ongoing destruction of the Brazilian Amazon rain forest
poses an enormous threat.  This is a man-made environmental crisis with potentially disastrous implications for the Amazon’s biodiversity and the global climate.  If the fires, and the policies that led to them, remain unchecked, the Amazon risks reaching
a tipping point of irreversible deforestation that will lock in the worst effects of the climate crisis.[1]  Given your public commitment to protecting forests, we respectfully urge you to
ensure your supply chain is untainted by this runaway deforestation in Brazil and to call for immediate action from President Bolsonaro.

The Amazon is the “lungs” of the world, accounting for twenty-five percent of the carbon that global forests absorb each year.[2]  Organisms unique to this ecosystem are critical to the
health of the world’s oceans and the global food chain.  Scientists are unequivocal that the protection of this rain forest is critical to forestalling the most destructive climate change scenarios.  Without the Amazon, it would almost certainly be impossible
to keep global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels.  This unchecked deforestation by land grabbers, illegal loggers, and miners also imperils indigenous communities throughout the Brazilian Amazon.  Yet these fires rage, and
deforestation continues unabated.

Brazil’s own National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported that there have been 58,614 fires in Brazil’s Amazônia Legal region so far this year, an increase of 105 percent from last year.[3] 
These fires, far from an unpredictable natural disaster, are in fact the manmade product of President Bolsonaro’s aggressive deregulatory policies.  The Brazilian section of the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since Mr. Bolsonaro
took office, while enforcement actions by Brazil’s environmental agency fell by 20 percent during the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.[4]  As President Bolsonaro’s
government turns a blind eye, ranchers and farmers intentionally set fires and illegally clear land with impunity.

As a major multinational corporation with a global footprint and considerable economic influence, your stated commitment to ending deforestation is admirable and necessary.  However, the fires in the Amazon this year are an emergency and require action from
all of us now.  You have the power to demand President Bolsonaro enforce his country’s environmental laws, and can reassess your operations in light of inaction.  Please speak up and make it clear that the protection of the Amazon is essential to your company
doing business in the region.

Letter to Financial Institutions

We are writing to you because your firm has expressed a commitment to forest protection and restoration by endorsing the New York Declaration on Forests.  In the context of global deforestation, the ongoing destruction of the Brazilian Amazon rain forest
poses an enormous threat.  This is a man-made environmental crisis with potentially disastrous implications for the Amazon’s biodiversity and the global climate.  If the fires, and the policies that led to them, remain unchecked, the Amazon risks reaching
a tipping point of irreversible deforestation that will lock in the worst effects of the climate crisis.[5]  Given your public commitment to protecting forests, we respectfully urge you to
thoroughly account for the runaway deforestation in Brazil in your due diligence, and to call for immediate action from President Bolsonaro.

The Amazon is the “lungs” of the world, accounting for twenty-five percent of the carbon that global forests absorb each year.[6]  Organisms unique to this ecosystem are critical to the
health of the world’s oceans and the global food chain.  Scientists are unequivocal that the protection of this rain forest is critical to forestalling the most destructive climate change scenarios.  Without the Amazon, it would almost certainly be impossible
to keep global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels.  This unchecked deforestation also imperils indigenous communities throughout the Brazilian Amazon.  Yet these fires rage, and deforestation continues unabated.

Brazil’s own National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported that there have been 58,614 fires in Brazil’s Amazônia Legal region so far this year, an increase of 105 percent from last year.[7] 
These fires, far from an unpredictable natural disaster, are in fact the manmade product of President Bolsonaro’s aggressive deregulatory policies.  The Brazilian section of the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since Mr. Bolsonaro
took office, while enforcement actions by Brazil’s environmental agency fell by 20 percent during the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.[8]  As President Bolsonaro’s
government turns a blind eye, ranchers and farmers intentionally set fires and illegally clear land with impunity.

Your stated commitment to ending deforestation is admirable and necessary.  However, the fires in the Amazon this year are an emergency that requires action from all of us.  You have the power to demand President Bolsonaro enforce his country’s environmental
laws, and can reassess any operations, investments, or client advisory work in Brazil accordingly if no action is taken.  Please speak up and make it clear that the protection of the Amazon is essential to your firm doing business in the region.

 


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Selected legislative information: Environment, Finance, Foreign Affairs

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