São Paulo – Greenpeace Brazil and Brazilian actor Alice Braga have partnered to release “Countdown to Destruction,” a three-video animated series explaining how the production of food commodities such as meat, dairy, soya and palm oil at an industrial scale has led to widespread deforestation across the world. The current industrial food system is a concentration of global corporate agribusiness that devours the world’s forests and vital ecosystems, threatens biodiversity, displaces Indigenous communities and fuels the climate crisis.
Watch the films: http://greenpeace.org/countdowntodestruction
“Protecting forests and other ecosystems is vital in the fight against the climate crisis and to keep our planet safe for us and for future generations. All over the world, we’re already seeing the impacts of the climate emergency, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed even more the cracks in a sick system that allows companies to recklessly trash our planet. Companies and governments have gone too long without being held accountable for their actions. It’s time for all of us, together, to stand up for Indigenous Peoples’ rights, for our planet, and for the future we all want and deserve.” said Alice Braga.
Animal agriculture – livestock and animal feed – is a significant driver of deforestation, and is responsible for approximately 60 percent of direct global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, with cattle being the leading driver of deforestation in the world. In the past 10 years, an area the size of Spain has been destroyed to make way for the production of food commodities such as soya, palm oil, meat and dairy. Companies such as Nestlé, Cargill and McDonald’s promised to stop deforestation by 2020, but little has been done.
“Even during the pandemic, illegal miners, loggers and land-grabbers continue to invade the Amazon to destroy it while the Brazilian government, instead of protecting the forest, fans the flames. To win the fight against the climate crisis, we must stand together and demand bold and serious actions from our governments.”
“Our planet is literally being set on fire by greedy companies and governments that choose to recklessly kill unique flora and fauna, displace and threaten Indigenous Peoples, and pump CO2 into the atmosphere, fueling, even more, the climate crisis,” said Tica Minami, Programme Director for Greenpeace Brazil.
According to the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), in the past year, more than one million hectares of forest have been destroyed in the Amazon, and if inaction remains the norm, deforestation rates will continue to rise in 2020. Beyond the impacts on the forest and the climate, the smoke from the fires could aggravate the threat COVID-19 has been posing in Brazil and put Indigenous Peoples and local communities at an even higher risk of respiratory diseases or death.
Alice Braga is a Brazilian actor and activist known for her roles in movies such as City of God, Blindness and most recently New Mutants and the show Queen of the South. In 2016, she visited the Sawré Muybu village, in the Munduruku Indigenous land with Greenpeace to learn about the struggle to protect their land against the construction of a massive hydroelectric dam and support their fight for justice.
Greenpeace is calling on the viewers of “Countdown to Destruction” to pressure companies to stop destroying forests and other ecosystems, and to pressure governments to stop being complicit with deforestation and hold forest destroyers accountable.
 Fearnside P (2017) ‘Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon’ Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.102
 IPCC (2014) ‘Climate change 2014: Mitigation of climate change’ Cambridge University Press https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ipcc_wg3_ar5_full.pdf pp822–824. Total direct agricultural emissions amount to ~5.8 GtCO2e/yr. Of this, animal products (all livestock emissions) account for:
- 2.1 GtCO2e/yr from enteric fermentation of animals
- 0.99 GtCO2e/yr from manure
- 0.34 GtCO2e/yr from fertiliser emissions (of total 0.68; at least 50% are directly for feed)
Total direct emissions from livestock (industrial or otherwise) therefore amount to 3.43 GtCO2e/yr, which is 59% of total direct agricultural emissions.
 According to Greenpeace International’s Countdown to Extinction report.
Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), [email protected]