Companies gather at New York Climate Week to celebrate broken promises to protect forests

by Katie Nelson

September 19, 2019

New York, New York, September 19, 2019 — As Amazon fires continue to burn, consumer companies will gather next week in New York City to “celebrate” their broken promises to end deforestation. Leading global brands committed both in 2010 and 2014 to eliminate deforestation by 2020 – by virtue of membership in Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), as signatories to the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), or via their own procurement policies. 

Yet overwhelming evidence from numerous sources indicates that companies are catastrophically failing this promise. Primary tropical forest loss has accelerated, and commodity-driven deforestation is the leading cause. [1] Most companies have remained silent about the devastating fires in the Amazon, despite news reports linking major brands to recent land clearance. [2] Companies will nevertheless gather including a CGF joint event that promises to “celebrate progress and showcase collective action.” [3] 

“We’ve been waiting 10 years for companies to clean up their act and stop driving forest destruction. In this time, fires have burned in the Amazon and around the world, heatwaves have grown, species have plummeted – and 50 million hectares have been destroyed for commodities like soya, palm oil, cattle and cocoa. This level of inaction is almost criminal. Companies actively market and create demand for the products that drive deforestation. They hide their own accountability in convoluted supply chains. They fail to implement even the most basic elements of their ambitious plans.

“Now the whole world is watching as decision-makers gather for New York Climate Week. The climate movement will not accept more of the excuses and failures. Our planet is reaching a critical tipping point. We need forests if we are to prevent climate breakdown. So it’s time for companies to cut ties to forest destroyers and fundamentally reform their businesses – or start winding down,” said Daniel Brindis, Forest Campaign Director at Greenpeace USA.

Details of how companies continue to fuel climate change through deforestation, and related New York Climate Week events, can be found in Greenpeace’s media briefing.



[1] New York Declaration on Forests 5-Year assessment report, Protecting and Restoring Forests: A Story of Large Commitments yet Limited Progress

[2] For example: The Guardian (Sept 17, 2019) ‘Leading burger supplier sourced from Amazon farmer using deforested land’ 

[3] Consumer Goods Forum and Tropical Forest Alliance joint event: Collective Action for a Forest Positive Future


Reykia Fick, Global Communications Lead – Forests, Greenpeace Canada, +1-819-918-0470, [email protected]

Katie Nelson, Greenpeace USA, +1 678-644-1681, [email protected]

Katie Nelson

By Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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