New York Sues Beef Producer JBS for ‘Fraudulent’ Marketing Around Climate Change

New York state Attorney General Letitia James sued beef producer JBS in state court for allegedly misleading the public about a pledge the company made to slash its climate pollution in the coming decade. Prosecutors said JBS continued making deceptive marketing claims even after a consumer watchdog group recommended the company stop advertising because it didn’t have a strategy to achieve its climate target.

JBS is among hundreds of companies around the world that have promised to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming. The Brazilian food maker said in 2021 that it would eliminate or offset all of the heat-trapping emissions from its operations and supply chains by 2040. “Agriculture can and must be part of the global climate solution,” Gilberto Tomazoni, chief executive of JBS, said in a statement announcing the goal. “We believe through innovation, investment and collaboration, net zero is within our collective grasp.”

But prosecutors in New York said that even if JBS had developed a plan, the company couldn’t “feasibly” deliver on its climate commitment. The state said there aren’t proven ways right now to zero out agriculture emissions at the scale of JBS’s operations, and offsetting the company’s emissions with things like carbon credits “would be a costly undertaking of an unprecedented degree.”

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