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Syngenta commits $2 billion to tackle climate change

The company’s CO2 emissions in 2018 was 1,585,000 tons. (© Keystone / Laurent Gillieron)

The Swiss-based agricultural firm has set aside $2 billion (around CHF1.97 billion) over five years to reduce emissions from agricultural practices.

The company, which has come under fire for profiting from selling hazardous pesticides abroad, also announced on Tuesday that it will be reducing its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030.

“These aren’t just words, this is real action that will drive focus in Syngenta to help farmers tackle climate change and reduce the sector’s contribution to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said CEO Erik Fyrwald in a company statement.

Syngenta plans to achieve its objectives through a collaboration with the non-profit The Nature Conservancy to “identify and test new innovations and technology that can benefit farmers and contribute to positive environmental outcomes”.

The company said its investment will also support its own sustainability goal to deliver “at least two technological breakthroughs to market each year”. The main areas of focus will be soil health, resource efficiency and habitat protection in major agricultural regions worldwide. Syngenta said that progress against these targets will be reported annually and independently audited.

The company’s CO2 emissions in 2018 was 1,585,000 tons, nearly a 5%  increase relative to the previous year.

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