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Commentary: Corporations & financial institutions that support agribusiness in the Amazon contribute to deforestation & destruction

Author: Leila Salazar-López, Lindsey Allen, Common Dreams, Published on: 27 August 2019

"We are facing a global emergency in the Amazon. Here's what we can do." 27 Aug 2019

Flames are ravaging the Amazon Basin... [T]hese recent fires, experts say, were intentionally set by farmers who, responding to calls from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to develop the region, wanted to clear their land so it could be used for agriculture... The corporations and financial institutions that back the businesses Bolsonaro beckons drive this deforestation and destruction, and will generate tremendous short-term profits at the expense of the Amazon... It's important to also understand that governments and companies around the world are emboldening the Bolsonaro regime's toxic policies when they enter into trade agreements with his government or invest in agribusiness companies operating in the Amazon. Companies like BlackRock... which announced plans to expand its operations in Brazil after Bolsonaro was elected, is a key financier of the agribusiness giants implicated in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, according to the non-profit organization Amazon Watch... Many of the oil, mining, and agribusiness operations in which BlackRock allegedly invests contribute to the violation of indigenous rights and furthers the expansion of development into the Amazon.

... Responding to Amazon Watch's accusations that it is contributing to the destruction of the rainforest, Blackrock told the Financial Times that "it makes investments on behalf of our clients, whose investment decisions we have a fiduciary duty to carry out. We do not own the assets our clients invest in. Our clients choose to invest in a wide range of assets and we endeavor to offer them a wide range of investment options, including sustainable investments."

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Related companies: BlackRock