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Harvard and TIAA’s farmland grab in Brazil goes up in smoke
Harvard and TIAA’s farmland grab in Brazil goes up in smoke

TIAA, Harvard and the other institutions buying up farmland in Brazil and elsewhere around the world must stop pretending that their practices are sustainable.

BlackRock’s recent statement on palm oil reveals an unhealthy addiction to climate risk
BlackRock’s recent statement on palm oil reveals an unhealthy addiction to climate risk

BlackRock, the $6.5 trillion Wall Street asset manager, has quietly released a statement on the company’s approach to engagement in the palm oil sector — an industry notorious for its role in destroying the planet’s last forests.

In the Peatlands of South Sumatra: A Tale of Two Villages
In the Peatlands of South Sumatra: A Tale of Two Villages

The palm oil industry is responsible for destroying some 24 million hectares of Indonesian rainforest since 1990, much of it through burning. But because huge areas of Indonesia’s vast peat bogs have been drained and dried out to make way for the plantations, the industry has also unleashed flooding in places like Sumatra’s wetlands — flooding that claims lands and lives in a way that is largely invisible.

RSPO should suspend membership of groups undermining Guatemala’s anti-impunity commission
RSPO should suspend membership of groups undermining Guatemala’s anti-impunity commission

Since 2017, Morales has been engaged in a battle against the U.N. commission, which was investigating his alleged violations of campaign finance law as well allegations of corruption by many of his associates, including close family members. The commission has also helped the Guatemalan attorney general bring charges against Guatemalan military leaders for massacres of indigenous peoples, as well as for acts of corruption by Guatemala’s former president, Otto Perez Molina, and several business executives…

The dubious fanfare about BlackRock’s social purpose
The dubious fanfare about BlackRock’s social purpose

If you look at BlackRock’s actual investments, you could be forgiven for thinking that their purpose is to drive civilization off the climate cliff while profiting from the wreckage.

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe: Four Takeaways from this Sunday’s New York Times Article
Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe: Four Takeaways from this Sunday’s New York Times Article

Staff at Friends of the Earth worked closely with the reporter, ProPublica’s Abrahm Lustgarten, to share background information and analysis, supply contacts in Indonesia and bring him along on public events we hosted at the U.S. Senate and the San Francisco climate summit. Here are four takeaways from the article.

Major palm oil company execs arrested for bribery in Indonesia
Major palm oil company execs arrested for bribery in Indonesia

Earlier this week Reuters reported on a bribery scandal in Indonesia that has resulted — so far — in the arrests of seven people, including senior executives of palm company Sinar Mas Agro Resources and PT Binasawit Abadi Pratama.

Is S&P Dow Jones greenwashing conflict palm oil?
Is S&P Dow Jones greenwashing conflict palm oil?

In its annual listing of sustainable companies released last month, S&P Dow Jones Indices included Golden Agri-Resources, a palm oil company financing operations in Liberia.

BlackRock’s Big Palm Oil Problem
BlackRock’s Big Palm Oil Problem

BlackRock is the largest U.S. financier of palm oil. Enabled by BlackRock’s money, dirty palm oil continues to be produced, traded and consumed with no consequence — and rampant deforestation continues to drive rapid climate change.

Three Years Since the Ecocide in the Río Pasión, Guatemala, Communities Still Struggle for Justice
Three Years Since the Ecocide in the Río Pasión, Guatemala, Communities Still Struggle for Justice

The danger facing critics of the palm oil industry is particularly high, as the industry appears to have deep ties to narco-trafficking and money-laundering — and even international conservation efforts appear bent on controlling disputed territories without fully considering the needs of the region’s most affected communities.