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Editor’s note: livestock lobbying and last call for nature law

Experts from Société Générale argue we should all be thinking more about the food we eat and how it arrives on our plates © Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg
Experts from Société Générale argue we should all be thinking more about the food we eat and how it arrives on our plates © Paulo Nunes dos Santos/Bloomberg

The latest edition of our Sustainable Views newsletter

Dear reader,

The meat and dairy industries are “as effective” as the fossil fuel sector at weakening EU climate policy, says a report published today by UK-based non-profit InfluenceMap, ahead of the upcoming European parliament elections.

The report tracked the influence of industry groups representing meat and dairy companies, including Copa-Cogeca, the European Livestock and Meat Trades Union, European Livestock Voice, and the European Dairy Association. It concludes that in response to lobbying from these groups, changes have been made to various proposed pieces of EU policy, such as the Farm to Fork strategy, the Sustainable Food Systems Framework, reviews of the promotion of EU farm products policy, and the Industrial Emissions Directive.

InfluenceMap also singles out companies such as Unilever and Nestlé as having engaged more positively with EU climate change policies and credits them with having issued public statements in support of the union’s policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging the uptake of more plant-based diets.

Continuing on the theme of food and farming, experts from Société Générale argue in today’s opinion that we should all be thinking more about the food we eat and how it arrives on our plates. They insist financiers can help catalyse the transformation towards a more sustainable food system by working across the sector’s value chain and developing ways to de-risk the financing of farmers and early-stage agriculture and food technological companies.

In related news, a group of companies and business organisations, including clothes company H&M, Coca-Cola Europe, Ikea and French food giant Danone, have written to Belgium as the current holder of the European Council presidency, urging the immediate adoption of the EU Nature Restoration Law. Hungary, which has blocked its adoption, will take over the council presidency at the beginning of June.

“The EU Nature Restoration Law will be a key tool to tackle our climate and biodiversity crises and to guarantee the long-term sustainability and viability of our society and economy,” they write. 

Elsewhere, Florence has dug into the data from a report by the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, calling on UK policymakers to facilitate a 25 per cent increase in investment in clean tech in the power, transport, buildings and industrial sectors to meet net zero. 

The additional annual investment would be equivalent to £30bn-£40bn and would significantly reduce the funds needed for the transition from public sources, says the report. It also focuses attention on the lifetime savings benefits for individuals and businesses that adopt low-carbon tech, while underlining the need for government support for the shift to clean technologies more expensive than their carbon-intensive equivalents, notably for lower-income households.

Finally, on a lighter note, ESG expert Will Oulton, and until recently chair of the European Sustainable Investment Forum, has asked me to bring the Sustainability Rocks initiative to the attention of any rockers among Sustainable Views’ readers. The initiative, according to its website, “brings together the financial services industry’s bands to battle it out for the highly coveted annual Sustainability Rocks trophy”, with the aim of raising funds for environmental charities.

Until tomorrow,


Philippa Nuttall is the editor of Sustainable Views 

A service from the Financial Times