McKinsey’s rainforest advice? A McCon job.

by Jay Ferrari

November 17, 2011

Last spring, Greenpeace completed an investigation of global consultancy firm McKinsey that reveals an insidious deforestation double-cross.

While tasked with showing forest countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guyana, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea how to cut deforestation emissions and thus battle climate change, McKinsey’s strategies, if implemented, would do a lot more harm than good.

The company’s advice would be a catalyst for increased deforestation and carbon emissions and would only benefit foreign extractive industries. The citizens of those nations, some of the poorest in the world would get the short end of the proverbial stick (if there are sticks left).

The study, funded in large part by the UK government, was based on oversimplified, misleading McKinsey trade-marked modeling.

McKinsey claims that the data used in its model needs to be kept secret due to commercial confidentiality, and remains mute when asked to explain its findings. Apparently, in McKinsey’s increasingly warm world, decisions that drive public policy should be immune from public scrutiny.

McKinsey, in short, doesn’t want us to see the forest or the trees.

Not surprisingly, a little digging reveals major McKinsey conflict of interest. The consultancy has divisions for mining, pulp and paper, and forest products’ sectors — the very industries that stand to benefit from McKinsey’s suspect advice on forests.

With the Durban Climate Change Conference underway, McKinsey’s influence is not only inaccurate, it’s untimely. Rainforest nations risk making decisions based on data derived via industry self-interest, not global commitment to combatting climate change.

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