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Investors worth $11.8 trillion call on G20 leaders to set specific emissions targets for food

9 November 2021
  • Zero of the 16 NDCs submitted by G20 nations have disclosed targets to reduce emissions from their agricultural sector. By comparison 50% (8 NDCs) have specific targets for energy sector.

  • A global investor coalition worth $11.8 trillion (including Legal & General Investment Management (UK), Canada Post Corporation Pension Plan) and former UN Secretary General, coordinated by FAIRR Initiative, call on G20 leaders to disclose specific agricultural emissions reductions targets.

  • FAIRR and WWF will co-host COP26 event: ‘Mobilizing finance to address climate risk and restore biodiversity while ensuring healthy diets for all’, Weds 10th November, 13:00 to 14:00 GMT in the Blue Zone, WWF Panda Pavilion.

(09 November_, London)_ A global investor coalition managing almost $12 trillion, coordinated by the FAIRR Initiative and supported by Ban Ki-moon, architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement, call on G20 nations to disclose specific targets for reducing agricultural emissions alongside their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) at COP26.

The full ‘Where’s the Beef’ statement from investors is available online. Investor support for the statement has more than doubled since it was initially launched in June, just over four months ago, reinforcing the clear desire from financial markets for sector-specific emissions targets in agriculture or the wider food system.

The statement is endorsed by the ex-Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who highlights that “transparent emission reduction targets will help investors and wider stakeholders measure progress towards net zero and chart the transition to more sustainable agriculture.”

As of today, none of the 16 G20 NDCs submitted so far contain the specific targets requested – in stark contrast to the energy sector, for which 50% include targets. Given food systems account for a third of all global emissions, this is a cause for enormous concern amongst investors who are increasingly aware of costly and dangerous climate risks within the sector.

Jeremy Coller, Chair, FAIRR Initiative, said:

“The COP26 announcements on methane and deforestation are to be congratulated. The biggest contributor to both is animal agriculture, and reform of that sector remains on the margins of discussion in Glasgow.

“FAIRR has brought together almost $12 trillion of investors saying loud and clear that governments must provide specific emissions reductions targets for the agriculture sector as an urgent priority. Just as many have done with the energy sector.

“The 20th century attitude of wilful ignorance, must be replaced by market data and a clear pathway to a sustainable agriculture sector in the 21st century. Without this the world cannot stay below 1.5 degrees of warming.”

João Campari, Global Food Practice Leader, WWF, said:

“Without an urgent decarbonisation of our food systems we will not be able to deliver the Paris Agreement or the SDGs. We cannot phase out food, like we can fossil fuels, but we can adopt nature-positive practices which deliver net-zero emissions. Although the majority of countries now refer to agriculture or land-use in their NDCs, specific targets and implementation roadmaps are lacking – they are needed to ensure food production shifts from being part of the problem to part of the climate solution.

“But action on food production alone will not be enough to deliver sustainable food systems. A food systems approach, also including dietary transitions and slashing food loss and waste from farm to fork, is required. In the next 12 months, all countries must wake up to this fact. COP27 needs a food day on which we see countries make the much-needed commitments that have been missing at COP26 and we can celebrate sweeping progress in mitigating food-based emissions.”

Helena Wright, Policy Director, FAIRR said:

“The finance industry has a vital role to play in accelerating sustainable solutions that can help reduce the environmental impact of the global food system. But to do so, it needs clear targets from governments about exactly what percentage of emissions reductions will come from agriculture. More broadly, we also need clarity on a global roadmap for the sector to align with climate and nature goals. That’s why investors today are calling on policymakers for more transparency on what sustainable agriculture looks like.”

A lack of concrete food systems emissions targets will be one of the themes of an expert discussion co-hosted by FAIRR during the COP26 conference. The panel – ‘Mobilizing finance to address climate risk and restore biodiversity while ensuring healthy diets for all’ – will also discuss the importance of clear roadmaps and targets to guide financial flows in the agriculture and land use sector towards a more sustainable system.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank, with the expert panel featuring:

  • Dr. Helena Wright, Policy Director, FAIRR Initiative

  • Zitouni Ould-Dada, Deputy Director, FAO Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment

  • Thomas Tayler, Senior Manager, Aviva Investors’ Sustainable Finance Centre for Excellence

  • Patrick Brown, CEO, Impossible Foods

  • João Campari, Global Leader, Food Practice, WWF International

The panel discussion, ‘Mobilizing finance to address climate risk and restore biodiversity while ensuring healthy diets for all’, will take place on Wednesday 10th November, 13:00 to 14:00 GMT in the Blue Zone, WWF Panda Pavilion. It forms the second part of the ‘Diets, Climate and Nature: The role of what we eat in a 1.5°C future’ event.

Click here to find out more about the event or register to join via Zoom. Registration is not required to attend this event in-person, although you will need a pass for the Blue Zone at COP26 to gain access.

Notes to editor

For more information, including interviews and comment, please contact:

  • Mike Marshall, ESG Communications (London)<br />T: +44 (0) 7728816426 | E:

  • Full ‘Where’s the Beef’ investor statement, and list of signatory investors, available here.

  • Details of the event can be found here.

  • Methodology: FAIRR analyzed all 16 updated Nationally Determined Contributions (2020 NDCs) so far submitted from G20 nations as of 29th October 2021. As outlined in the Paris Agreement in 2015, signatories are expected to publish an NDC every five years, disclosing their plans to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Note that the EU has submitted a single NDC on behalf of its member states which includes Italy, Germany and Spain – hence 16 ‘2020 NDCs’ submitted, representing 18 G20 countries. FAIRR analysis found that 8 of 16 (50%) have set specific targets relating to the energy sector (EU, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, US, China, Indonesia, Saudia Arabia) and two (20%) have set specific targets relating to the transport sector (EU, Japan). Current status of the G20 nation submissions:

  • New ‘2020 NDC submissions’ have been published by: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US, European Union (representing Italy, Germany, and Spain).

  • Not yet submitted 2020 updates: India.

  • Note that ‘land use’ (which tends to include deforestation) is considered a different sector to ‘agriculture’. 3 of 16 (19%) of submitted G20 NDCs to date (Japan, Mexico, and the EU) have specific reduction targets for land use.


The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network, founded by Jeremy Coller, with a membership of $45 trillion assets under management. FAIRR works with institutional investors to define the material ESG issues linked to intensive livestock and fish farming systems and provide them with the tools necessary to integrate this information into their asset stewardship and investment decisions. This includes the Coller FAIRR Index, the world’s first comprehensive assessment of the largest global animal protein companies on environmental, social and governance issues. Visit and follow @FAIRRInitiative.