Eliminating Commodity-Driven Deforestation: Finance Sector Roadmap

News / 4 Nov 2021

Yesterday at COP26 Finance Day, Global Canopy and partners launched a Finance Sector Roadmap for eliminating deforestation, after 30 financial institutions with more than US$ 8.7 trillion in assets committed to eliminate agricultural commodity-driven deforestation in their portfolios by 2025. The new roadmap provides a guide for how to deliver on this ambition in practice.

Speaking at the launch event, CEO of Principles for Responsible Investment Fiona Reynolds, said: “We won’t get to net-zero if we don’t tackle deforestation.”

The Roadmap focuses on engaging with companies and asks financial institutions to publicly disclose risks and report progress annually.

Niki Mardas, Global Canopy’s Executive Director, said: “We can use the roadmap as a way of tracking for accountability year on year to look at how these commitments from the finance sector are playing out. So we have the eyes of the world on these commitments.”

Lord Zac Goldsmith, UK Minister for Pacific and the Environment and point-person behind the landmark commitment from more than 100 countries to end and reverse deforestation by 2030, revealed that the new deforestation pledges from the finance sector had spurred an immediate increase in ambitions from governments, with the government declaration now having reached 130 signatories. “The effect it’s had on some of the countries is immediate. (…) It’s the market they are responding to. It’s a clear direction of travel.”

Partner and Head of ESG & Agribusiness at Brazil’s JGP Asset Management, José Maria Pugas Filho, spoke about their journey to become deforestation-free and said: “My appeal to every asset manager, every financial institution in places such as Brazil, Colombia and Africa, in places where there is most of these biomes […] at risk – I urge more to sign and commit to deforestation free finance.”

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