Who is Profiting from the Destruction of the Amazon?

As always, to get at the root cause of the problem (and start solving it), follow the money.


By Anna Lappé

When I first moved to the San Francisco Bay Area a few years ago, Real Food Media shared offices in downtown Oakland with Amazon Watch, and I’ve served on the board of Rainforest Action Network (RAN) for more than ten years. From my work and collaborations with these organizations, I’ve learned how important it is that we follow the money to the companies, banks, insurers, and others that profit from environmental destruction. 

It isn’t just about one rogue head of state. To get to the underlying forces of much of the world’s deforestation, from the lush Amazonian rainforest or the carbon-rich peatlands of Indonesia: Who is profiting from the development that leads to this destruction? Read about who is driving, and profiting from, the fires in the Amazon in my latest piece for The Atlantic

“As the climate crisis worsens, dialing down demand for industrially raised meat is certainly crucial. But so is upholding the rights of indigenous peoples who protect the Amazon; exposing financial institutions that profit from rain-forest destruction; and condemning elected officials bankrolled by these institutions.”

Feeling like there’s nothing you can do about the Amazon fires? There is: stand in solidarity with environmental defenders and Indigenous peoples, donate to these great organizations, and speak out against (and divest from) the financiers of destruction. And our Tackling Climate Change through Food toolkit has many more great ideas on how to get active.

Header photo by APIB