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Addressing Climate change through Micro Finance

Posted by radhika I 10 February, 2010 archives 

Cooking is the main source of food for Indian people, especially in rural areas. In order to cook, almost 45% of the rural population use mud structure chulhahs that use branches, plastic and kerosene.

359825310_b3379e38cb

Photo sourced: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tellytom/359825310/

The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that the pollution levels in rural kitchens are 30 times higher than acceptable levels. It indicates that Black Carbon produced from tens of thousands of villages in developing countries is emerging as a major source of global climate change.

It is interesting to understand how cooking over open fires and traditional stoves in rural India is a danger not only to the health of these people, but also to the planet. In addition, poor countries and poorest people living in these countries actually suffer most of the impact of climate change.

climate-change_1

Photo sourced: http://www.aboutmyplanet.com/category/conspiracies/

Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) focuses on “Microfinance and Climate Change Threats and Opportunities”. It suggests that Micro Finance can reach these people and lend to households so that they can purchase household size proven energy savings energy. MFIs can also work with the suppliers of household size proven savings devices and can provide credit to households to buy the equipment. Financial services can help customers reduce their carbon emissions by enabling them to switch to energy sources that emit less greenhouse gas.

I am sure most of us are aware that BASIX and Grameen bank have already started to address some features of climate change. I was just wondering if there is any other MFI that has addressed this issue. After all, poor people suffer the most due to climate change. Hope in future many welfare organizations come forward to take such initiatives which will benefit the poor.

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