Top Agriculture Officials from 12 States Launch Probe into ESG-Investing by U.S. Banks

2024-02-02 17:00:00

I have been covering the European farmers’ protests, who are demonstrating against their governments for a wide array of policies…including those related to net-zero carbon emission goals and destructive eco-restrictions.

While American farmers haven’t organized similar demonstrations yet, top agricultural officials from 12 states have launched probes into Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG) investing practices that may be occurring at some big US banks.

A coalition of 12 Republican state agriculture commissioners are taking aim at six large U.S. banks over their net-zero ambitions, opening a new front in the pushback against woke investing, a fight that has primarily been spearheaded by state attorneys general and financial officers.

The top state officials penned a letter Monday morning to top executives of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, taking issue in particular with their collective membership in the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). They warned that the banks’ involvement in the global eco alliance may impact food availability, lead to price increases, limit credit access for farmers, and have broad negative economic consequences.

“American agriculture is sending a clear signal: we will not bend the knee to the failed, left-wing climate agenda of the United Nations that seeks to cripple one of our country’s most critical industries,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper told FOX Business.

“Now more than ever, banks that do business with America should be unquestionably supporting American industries — and that starts with the one that puts food on our tables, clothes on our backs, and shelter over our heads,” Harper continued. “The UN’s Net-Zero Banking Alliance would be the equivalent of a run on the bank for our nation’s agriculture industry and pose a serious threat to our national security — and it must be stopped.”

Agricultural commissioners from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia have signed the letter.

The letter detailed all the likely consequences of attempting to force net-zero goals on farming and ranching in this country.

“Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture requires a complete overhaul of on-farm infrastructure — one of the goals of the NZBA,” reads a letter from the GOP officials to executives at Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

“This would have a catastrophic impact on our farmers. Proposed net-zero roadmaps describe dramatic, impractical, and costly changes to American farming and ranching operations such as switching to electric machinery and equipment; installing on-site solar panels and wind turbines; moving to organic fertilizer; altering rice-field irrigation systems; and slashing U.S. ruminant meat consumption in half, costing millions of livestock jobs,” the letter on Monday continued.

…“This is compounded by the fact that, the average American has been struggling to keep up with inflation during the tenure of the Biden Administration. The reality could be much worse. These effects will hit the poor the hardest,” they cautioned.

They further warned that the banks’ pursuit of net-zero goals could “permanently damage American agriculture and endanger our country’s food security.”

“American farmers should not be forced to put our food supply at risk,” the letter concluded.

Banking institutions, policymakers, and politicians in this country may want to pay attention to Europe. The farmer’s protests are expanding considerably….and tractors are now surrounding the European Parliament.

The French government on Wednesday sent armoured vehicles to protect a wholesale food market in Paris in a sign of escalating tensions as farmers blocked highways in France and Belgium and protests spread elsewhere in Europe.

Spanish and Italian farmers said they were joining the protest movement that has also hit Germany, aiming to press governments to ease environmental rules and shield them from rising costs and cheap imports.

With a summit of EU leaders set for Thursday, the bloc’s executive Commission made proposals to limit farm imports from Ukraine and ease some green regulations.

These announcements, however, failed to stop many farmers from Belgium and beyond from driving their tractors into Brussels city centre ahead of a rally planned to coincide with Thursday’s leaders’ summit.

Tractors were seen around the European Parliament, while police cordonned off the Commission and Council buildings.




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