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US banks ‘sabotaging’ own net zero plans by livestock financing, report claims

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A report by Friends of the Earth accuses American banks of undermining their climate commitments by providing significant financing to meat, dairy, and feed corporations, highlighting a critical gap in their net-zero pathways

🔭 The context: Analyzing 58 US banks, the report details over $134bn in financing to the animal protein sector between 2016 and 2023, with the "big three" banks—Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase—accounting for more than half of this
• It links these activities to over 24 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, underscoring the substantial environmental impact of such investments

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The financing of livestock and related feed companies plays a significant role in the banks' overall emissions footprint, contributing to global warming and posing a threat to the Paris agreement's goal of limiting temperature rise
• The sector's significant, often underreported, emissions highlight a crucial area for climate action

⏭️ What's next: The report calls for banks to reconsider their financing strategies, emphasizing the potential climate benefits of reducing or eliminating support for the livestock and feed industries
• This move could align banks more closely with their publicly stated net-zero ambitions and the broader goal of sustainable development.

💬 One quote: "Banks have committed to pathways to net zero, but they are ignoring a huge cow-shaped hole in their plans," said Monique Mikhail, the lead author of the report and director of the agriculture and climate finance programme with Friends of the Earth.

📈 One stat: Livestock-linked financing by all 58 banks totalled more than $134 billion between 2016 and 2023, with the top three financiers contributing about $74 billion.

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