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International

World’s central banks financing destruction of the rainforest

Corporate bonds intended to inject liquidity into markets profited companies engaged in deforestation

Corporate bonds purchased by central banks in the UK, US and EU member states have financed companies engaged in the destruction of the Amazon, as scientists report that deforestation may have passed the tipping point. Photograph: Michael Dantas/AFP/Getty Images

Some of the world’s biggest central banks are unwittingly helping to finance agri-business giants engaged in the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon, according to a report published on Wednesday.

The Bank of England, the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are among the institutions that have bought millions of dollars in bonds issued by companies linked to deforestation and land-grabbing, according to the report Bankrolling Destruction, published by the rights group Global Witness.

“Because these programmes are guaranteed by the respective governments in the UK, the US and EU Member States, this means taxpayers throughout those territories are unwittingly underwriting companies engaged in the destruction of the Amazon and other rainforests,” according to the report. [continue]