Alice Braga featured in video series about the environmental impacts of the industrial food system
by Katie Nelson
July 20, 2020
Today, Greenpeace, in partnership with Brazilian actor Alice Braga, released “Countdown to Destruction,” an animated series explaining how the production of food commodities has led to widespread deforestation across the world.
São Paulo — Today, Greenpeace, in partnership with Brazilian actor Alice Braga, released “Countdown to Destruction,” a three-video animated series explaining how the production of food commodities such as meat, dairy, soy, 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.
“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, Program Director for Greenpeace Brazil.
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.
“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 only 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 — for both livestock and animal feed — is a significant driver of deforestation , and is also responsible for approximately 60 percent of direct global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture , with cattle as the world’s leading driver of deforestation. 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 soy, palm oil, meat, and dairy. Companies such as Nestlé, Cargill and McDonald’s promised to stop deforestation by 2020, but little has been done .
According to the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), in the past year, one million hectares of forest have been destroyed in the Amazon. 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.
“Recent months have unmasked global agribusiness. Throughout the system, communities of color and Indigenous communities are treated as dispensable as the companies profits from threatening the lives of workers and the endless deforestation that is destabilizing the climate. It is important to take this moment to understand how the system is designed to cash out nature, the climate, and human health and demand that we rebuild better,” said Daniel Brindis, Forests Campaign Director at Greenpeace USA.
 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 fertilizer 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.
Katie Nelson, Strategic Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (678) 644-1681, [email protected]
Betsy López-Wagner, Principal, Chief Strategist, López-Wagner Strategies: +1 (708) 717-9408, [email protected]