NY Attorney General James Sues JBS over Climate Claims

Sydney Jones

Press Secretary

[email protected]

Carole Mitchell

Sr. Director Communications

[email protected]
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Today, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced plans to sue the world’s largest beef producer, JBS, for misleading the public about its environmental impacts. The below press release was published by the New York Attorney General’s office, the full press release can be found here. 

February 28, 2024

Attorney General James Sues World’s Largest Beef Producer for Misrepresenting Environmental Impact of Their Products

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today filed a lawsuit against JBS USA Food Company and JBS USA Food Company Holdings (JBS USA), the American subsidiary of the world’s largest producer of beef products, for misleading the public about its environmental impact. JBS USA has claimed that it will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, despite documented plans to increase production, and therefore increase its carbon footprint.

Beef production emits the most greenhouse gasses of any major food commodity, and animal agriculture accounts for 14.5 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, the JBS Group, JBS USA’s global parent company, reported total global greenhouse gas emissions of over 71 million tons, more than the total emissions of some countries. Attorney General James seeks to stop JBS USA from continuing these false and misleading marketing practices, pay disgorgement of all ill-gotten profits, and penalties.

“As families continue to face the daily impacts of the climate crisis, they are willing to spend more of their hard-earned money on products from brands that are better for the environment,” said Attorney General James. “When companies falsely advertise their commitment to sustainability, they are misleading consumers and endangering our planet. JBS USA’s greenwashing exploits the pocketbooks of everyday Americans and the promise of a healthy planet for future generations. My office will always ensure that companies do not abuse the environment and the trust of hardworking consumers for profit.”

Quoted in Attorney General James’ press release, Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz said:

““JBS has driven more than 2.4 million acres of Amazon deforestation, has poured record methane pollution into the atmosphere, and has a total climate footprint estimated to exceed the entire country of Spain. Although the company has pledged to be ‘Net Zero’ by 2040, it has excluded from its calculation sources of pollution that represent more than 90 percent of its footprint and has not offered a credible plan to improve its performance. JBS has repeatedly resisted implementing affordable, cost-effective solutions like channelling development onto degraded land, scaling sustainable protein production, or prohibiting egregious pollution in its supply chain. Attorney General James is showing that even a company this big can’t get slick greenwashing past the state of New York.”

Read the full press release here. 

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Read more about this announcement  in the Wall Street Journal: New York Attorney General Sues Meatpacker JBS Over Climate Claims

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