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Private equity climate campaigner says "cows are the new coal"

FAIRR where's the beef? COP26The investor coalition FAIRR, which includes major asset owners and managers, is urging governments to disclose targets for reducing agricultural emissions.

The ‘Where’s the Beef?' campaign, which includes Legal & General Investment Management, takes place in the lead up to COP26 and is supported by Ban Ki-moon, architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Agriculture currently accounts for a third of all global emissions, but none of the G20’s currently released national climate commitments include clear national targets for emissions reductions in the sector, according to FAIRR.

Jeremy Coller, chair of FAIRR and chief investment officer of private equity firm Coller Capital, said: “Cows are the new coal.”

Emissions from agriculture and related land use are on a level with the greenhouse gases emitted by the EU, US and Japan combined, he added.

“If the COP26 process can transparently set out each country’s plans to address agriculture's climate footprint, it would boost the confidence of investors to mobilise capital towards more sustainable food and farming."

Reducing emissions without a roadmap for how to get there is “not only ineffective but highly damaging for investors” and companies keen to ensure a fair and equitable transition to a net-zero economy, he added.

‘Where’s the Beef’ owes its name to beef being  the highest-emitting element of animal agriculture, responsible for 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. FAIRR said analysis showed 40 of the world’s largest meat firms face losses of up to $11 billion from potential carbon taxation.

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