The Exxons of agriculture
Fertiliser companies are among the world's top climate villains, a new report from GRAIN asserts. Their products could be responsible for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, not to mention the damage wreaked on waterways, soils and the ozone layer. But policies to transition agriculture out of its current dependence on chemical fertilisers are being undermined by the fertiliser industry's lobby efforts. GRAIN's report shows how fertiliser companies have infiltrated the main policy processes on agriculture and climate to position chemical fertilisers as a solution to climate change and to weaken support for non-chemical farming. Under the banner of "climate smart agriculture", fertiliser companies work in alliance with other food and agribusiness corporations to lobby for voluntary, company-led programmes that promote the use of fertilisers, such as Wal-Mart's climate smart agriculture programme or the World Economic Forum's New Vision for Agriculture.