Investors in meat and dairy companies are worried that they’re not doing enough to combat climate change, according to a new survey.
The study by Changing Markets Foundation surveyed 201 employees of investor firms about attitudes toward greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change represents a material risk to investments in the meat and dairy industry, according to 82% of respondents. Asked if investors were adequately addressing these risks, 55% said no.
The report quotes research that food production is responsible for 49% of the greenhouse gases that would have to be reduced in order to limit global warming to 1.5° C. Livestock produces about 32% of emissions of methane, which is one of the most destructive gases to the environment.
If the situation is not properly addressed, 23% of study respondents said that it would be “very likely” that it would lead to stranded assets in the meat and dairy sectors, while another 61% said this was “possibly” true. Nearly 80% of respondents said climate change will have either a moderate or a severe impact on the meat and dairy industries.
The U.S. lags in this regard: Only 22% of American respondents said their companies have a social-issues policy that addresses climate change, compared with 48% in Asia and 52% in Europe.
“The findings of the survey and interviews conducted for this briefing show that the investment community recognizes the risks of climate change but is gripped by an inertia that prevents action,” the report states.