We have 10 years to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and 30 years to meet the Paris Agreement in order to secure our future. These goals require government and private investments to follow environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. According to the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR), industrial animal protein and factory farming companies are associated with 28 ESG issues ranging from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to global pandemics.
Figure 1: IATP report on GHG emissions from major meat and dairy companies
Agriculture, Forestry and Land use account for 24% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth assessment report. Animal agriculture is responsible for nearly 60% of agriculture GHG emissions and therefore, agriculture reform is inevitable in order to meet the Paris Agreement. Moreover, Amazon fires are intentionally set to clear land for livestock companies like JBS, Marfrig and Minerva.5 This deforestation further contributes to global warming, destroys native wildlife, and destroys the livelihood of indigenous communities. Globally, 83% of farmland is being used for meat, dairy, eggs and aquaculture in order to provide only 18% of the global calorie. If the trend continues, industrial animal farming will not only destroy our remaining forests and worsen the climate crisis, but also amplify the food insecurity for our growing population.
Several California Cities provide retirement benefits to their employees through California Public Employees’ Retirement Systems (CalPERS). The 2019-20 CalPERS investment report shows the agency’s heavy investment worth ~$679 million in industrial animal protein and factory farming companies. It includes major Brazilian companies like JBS, Marfrig and Minerva that are associated with Amazonian rainforest destruction. The majority of CalPERS-invested industrial animal protein and factory farming companies are listed in the FAIRR ESG risk index. CalPERS investment in factory farming companies jeopardizes our commitment of meeting both SDG and the Paris Agreement. Therefore, We kindly request Cities to adopt a resolution to refer the City Manager and CalPERS to consider divesting from industrial animal protein and factory farming companies.
Please click here for the draft proposal!