Long-term matters: How capitalists can save the Amazon from capitalism

When foundations and wealthy individuals launched their Rapid Response-Able Fund (RRAF) in spring 2020, commentators sneered at the “save the world” motivation while others said it would distract attention from the political changes that were needed.

But at $10bn (€9bn), with plans to scale quickly to $100bn, interest in corporate boardrooms snowballed. RRAF would target the worst actors rather than invest in sustainability leaders.. And it would act using the standard activist strategy of taking a meaningful stake in the target company, as well as writing an open letter to the board with a clear, practical list of demands including placing between one and three directors.

RRAF’s first multi-billion dollar initiative was to save the Amazon. The business case for investing in biodiversity and forestry by those who could take a genuinely long-term view was clear. And the reputation risks to the worst actors – given the huge public outcry had already begun to put licenses to operate at risk.

RRAF took a meaningful stake in three companies. The boardroom struggles extended beyond a year and the first meetings included many fireworks. But the well-argued demands were embraced by most of the other board directors. Some did not want to risk getting blacklisted internationally and others faced intense pressure at home from their children.  

via Long-term matters: How capitalists can save the Amazon from capitalism | Magazine | IPE

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