Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, along with New York City Council members and environmental advocates, is announcing a resolution calling on NYC to divest from agricultural industries that benefit from the destruction of the Amazon rainforest—pointing specifically to the damaging effects of animal agriculture in the region. This summer, the record-breaking fires set by farmers—an increase of 85 percent from 2018—to clear land for cattle ranching in the Brazillian rainforest resulted in worldwide outrage. The resolution urges government agencies, private businesses, and corporations to refrain from purchasing agricultural products that fail to meet the sustainability standards set under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Passed by the New York State legislature in June, the act requires statewide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and aims to achieve net-zero emissions in the state by 2050. Since going vegan in 2016, Adams has learned about the damaging effects of animal agriculture on the environment and human health, and believes this resolution is just one step towards addressing the crisis.
In an accompanying video—created by Asher Brown and Pollution.tv—introducing the resolution, Adams explains that in order for NYC to meet its commitment, it must stop supporting businesses that are responsible for the Amazon’s destruction. “Animal agriculture is responsible for 91 percent of Amazon deforestation,” Adams said. “Major agricultural corporations like Cargill, JBS, and Marfrig drive the destruction. Every hamburger or piece of chicken we buy from the companies that purchase their products supports a cycle of deforestation. We must take action.”
In a bicoastal initiative, Los Angeles City Council members are also urging LA to halt business with companies that are destroying the Amazon. Both LA and NYC are calling on the other 35,000 cities nationwide to join the boycott.
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