Schatz joins push to protect Amazon

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) led a group of 13 senators in writing a pair of letters to corporate signatories to the New York Declaration on Forests, calling for the major companies and financial firms to wield their influence to combat the ongoing fires and runaway deforestation in the Amazon.

In the face of destructive policies by Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro, it is time for corporations to live up to their commitments to combat deforestation around the globe, the senators write.

The New York Declaration is a partnership of governments, multinational companies, civil society, and indigenous peoples who strive to halve deforestation by 2020 and to end it by 2030.

One letter is addressed to retailers, food and beverage companies, and consumer goods companies, which may have supply chains that extend into Brazil; the other is to financial institutions, urging them to account for the Amazon fires in all due diligence.

To the companies, the senators write, “Please speak up and make it clear that the protection of the Amazon is essential to your company doing business in the region.”

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