Amazon Watch Response to Investor Statement on Amazon Deforestation and Fires

230 institutional investors from 30 different countries release joint statement calling for urgent action to protect the Amazon

Amazon Watch

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Washington, DC – Yesterday, 230 institutional investors from 30 different countries released a joint statement calling for urgent action to protect the Amazon rainforest. The investors, with a combined $16.2 trillion USD under management, state that the escalating deforestation of the Amazon causes serious financial risks to companies and their investors, and they request that the companies in which they invest redouble efforts to eradicate deforestation from their operations and supply chains.

Moira Birss, Finance Campaign Director at Amazon Watch, said the following about the investor statement:

"This call from investors to end deforestation in the Amazon is timely, significant, and forceful. It echoes the recommendations Amazon Watch made to investors in our April 2019 report on the complicity of U.S. and European companies in the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon, in which we uncovered substantial investments from U.S. and European banks and asset managers in the very companies most responsible for driving deforestation in the region.

"One gap in the statement, however, is clarity on how the signatories will hold their investee companies accountable for responding to the requests for environmental accountability and transparency. Furthermore, it is both disappointing and problematic that the biggest equity investors – BlackRock, Vanguard, Fidelity, and State Street – did not sign this statement, nor did other major U.S. financial institutions. Once again, U.S. financial institutions have left leadership on environmental and climate issues to Europe and to socially responsible investors.

"Next week is the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. This would be the perfect moment for the U.S. financial institutions that have yet to take action for the Amazon to step up. To do otherwise would be to continue their complicity in Amazon destruction."

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