The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Undercover Investigation Implicates Top Brands Nike, Adidas, and Others in "Slaughtering the Amazon" Report

Report Showcases Links Between Leather, Forest Destruction and Climate Change

São Paulo, Brazil

A three-year undercover investigation by
Greenpeace into Brazil's booming cattle industry, the single largest
source of deforestation in the world and Brazil's main source of CO2
emissions (1), has found that top name brands are driving the
deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. It also shows how the Brazilian
government is complicit in bankrolling the destruction and is
undermining its own efforts to tackle the global climate crisis.

The new Greenpeace report, "Slaughtering the Amazon" (2), tracks beef,
leather, and other cattle products from ranches involved in illegal
deforestation in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The story exposes
the laundering of leather and beef into supply chains of top brands
such as Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Clarks, Timberland, Geox, Gucci, IKEA,
Kraft, and Wal-Mart. (3) The report emphasizes the need to end
deforestation for cattle and the importance of having people, industry,
and government work toward a global solution that protects tropical
forests to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Forest destruction accounts for almost 20 percent of global warming
causing emissions, which is more climate pollution than all the world's
cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ships combined.

"Brazil is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world
in large part because of deforestation-related emissions. The Brazilian
cattle industry is the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon and
it is driving climate change," said Greenpeace Forest Campaigner
Lindsey Allen. "To be true climate leaders, Nike, Adidas, Timberland
and other brands must help protect the Amazon and our climate by
refusing to buy leather from deforestation. In the fight against
climate change, every step counts."

Greenpeace investigators also found that the Brazilian government has a
vested interest in the further expansion of the cattle industry. The
country is part owner of three of the country's cattle giants - Bertin,
JBS and Marfrig - which are responsible for fueling the destruction of
huge tracts of the Amazon.

President Lula's government forecasts that the country's share of the
global beef market will double by 2018. The Greenpeace investigation
shows that expansion of the cattle sector threatens to undermine
Brazil's pledge to cut deforestation by 72 percent by the same date.
(4) The majority of its climate emissions come from the clearance and
burning of the Amazon rainforest.

"By bankrolling the destruction of the Amazon for cattle, President
Lula's government is undermining its own climate commitments as well as
the global effort to tackle the climate crisis," said Greenpeace Amazon
campaigner Andre Muggiati. "If it wants to be part of the climate solution, Lula's government must
get out of bed with cattle industry and instead commit to ending Amazon

In December 2009, political negotiations to save the climate will
culminate at the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit, where governments must
agree to a strong global deal to avert catastrophic climate change.
Given that tropical deforestation accounts for approximately 20 percent
of global greenhouse gas emissions, any deal must effectively tackle

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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