For citizens of the Netherlands and Japan, the dream of a comfortable retirement is fueling an environmental nightmare in the Amazon. Three of the biggest pension funds in thse countries, catering to public employees and professionals, have invested a combined $571 million in Brazil’s largest meatpackers. These, in turn, are companies that operate in the Amazon, buying cattle raised on farms that have been illegally deforested. The sum invested by the Dutch and Japanese funds —  Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds (ABP), Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) and the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) — is more than the entire 2021 budget for Brazil’s environment ministry, which has been slashed to 2.9 billion reais ($530 million). And these are just the funds that we know of, says Ward Warmerdam, senior researcher at Profundo, a Dutch NGO that advocates for greater environmental sustainability in business. Few pension funds open their portfolios to public scrutiny, he says. “It is a sector with a large black hole. In most parts of the world, you don’t know where your retirement money is being invested.” Pension funds are heavyweights on the financial markets because they control and determine the destiny of resources belonging to large numbers of people. “Of the institutional investors [that administer third-party resources], they are the largest,” says Cole Martin, an analyst at Fitch Solutions. In fact, the combined investments by ABP, PFZW and GPIF in meatpackers JBS, Marfrig and Minerva outweigh the 2.2 billion reais ($402 million) that U.S.-based BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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