More than 150,000 Citizens and 280 Organizations Call on World Bank to Stop Financing Factory Farms

Stop Financing Factory Farming
19th April '24
S3F ad campaign during World Bank spring meetings April 2023, calling on the World Bank to act on climate by stopping financing to factory farms
S3F ad campaign during World Bank spring meetings April 2023

“The World Bank’s continued support for industrial livestock is exacerbating the climate crisis”

Washington, D.C. – Today, during the World Bank Spring Meetings, the Stop Financing Factory Farming campaign – a coalition of environment, development, and animal welfare organizations aiming to shift development bank finance away from industrial livestock and towards more sustainable food production – delivered a citizen petition and open letter to the World Bank. The petition and letter call on Bank President Ajay Banga to stop financing highly-polluting factory farms, highlighting how the Bank’s industrial livestock portfolio threatens to undermine its climate agenda. The petition was signed by 156,849 citizens from at least 131 countries across the globe, and the open letter was signed by 280 organizations spanning 60 countries.

The letter, addressed directly to President Banga, states, “With roughly a third of all global greenhouse gas emissions coming from the food and agriculture sector, it is clear that the World Bank Group cannot successfully tackle the climate crisis and biodiversity loss without a dramatic shift in lending away from energy-intensive industrial livestock operations, toward a more just and resilient food system.”

The open letter and petition will both be delivered to Rose Craigue, head of External Engagement at the World Bank, on April 19, 2024 at 11:45 am. Media wishing to attend this delivery event, may RSVP here.

The climate consequences of industrial livestock are staggering. Studies estimate livestock production will use up nearly half the world’s 1.5°C emissions budget by 2030 and 80% by 2050. The livestock sector alone accounts for 32% of global GHG emissions from methane. Due to its potency (80X the global warming potential of CO2), curbing methane emissions is the fastest way to make a dent in global warming. However, under Banga’s leadership to date, the World Bank has taken no action to address industrial livestock emissions. Instead, the Bank continues to finance the industry’s expansion.

The letter specifically calls on Banga to publicly acknowledge the significant role of industrial livestock in climate change and biodiversity loss, commit to shifting World Bank Group support towards sustainable food and agriculture systems, and phase out IFC support for expansion of large-scale industrial livestock operations.

“Banga took the reins at the World Bank with a mandate to help countries around the world mitigate the climate crisis,” said Ashley Schaeffer Yildiz, senior campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S., a member of the Stop Financing Factory Farming Coalition. “Despite this, the World Bank continues to pour billions of dollars into one of the highest polluting and most destructive industries – industrial livestock. For the Bank to address the climate emergency, it must take a hard look at its own portfolio and stop financing factory farms immediately.”

“The World Bank’s continued support for the global expansion of industrial livestock is exacerbating the climate crisis, especially within peasant and Indigenous communities’ ancestral territories, undermining the SDGs and the bank’s own climate agenda, while also keeping the goals of the Paris Agreement firmly out of reach,” said Erika Xananine Calvillo Ramirez, S3F Youth Ambassador and Indigenous-Ngiwa defender from Mexico.

You can read the open letter signed by about 280 organizations here and the petition signed by 156,849 individuals here.

For more information on how the World Bank’s lending undermines its climate goals, visit Climate Misalignment: How Development Bank Investments in Industrial Livestock Are at Odds With Their Paris Agreement Commitments.

For immediate release: April 19, 2024 at 5:00 am ET
Contact: Holly Shulman for the Stop Financing Factory Farming Coalition
+1-603-715-4321, [email protected]

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