Posted by: Elizabeth Israel
Tagged in: Water and Waste Management
, Climate Change
, Carbon Offsets
Congratulations GGAP on a MUST READ!
...for the April 2 Report on Greening Microfinance: Clients and the Climate of Change
With environmental challenges-from drought to flooding-disproportionately affecting poor people's livelihoods, microfinance institutions have a strong incentive to mitigate the risks of climate change while helping their clients adapt to that change, argues Paul Rippey, the author of the latest report from CGAP on microfinance and climate change.
...to Paul Rippey, on the well-written article, Microfinance and Climate Change: Threats and Opportunities. Great work, Paul!
"Within microfinance, the word ‘sustainable' has tended to be used in a very narrow way, mainly referring to institutions that are financially viable," says Rippey. "But just as many MFIs have added social performance to their bottom line, they should also consider how their actions-and those of their clients-can help combat climate change."
Thank you, CGAP, for making mention of GMf in the Report and as an Additional Resource on your Feature page.
Recently the World Economic Forum in Davos released a new study on Green Investing: Towards a Clean Energy Infrastructure. In the study it states that "two billion people worldwide have no access to modern fuels and 1.6 billion have no access to electricity. In addition, hundreds of millions more live in areas with unreliable grids and experience regular outages disrupting light, water pumps and other essential functions".
GreenMicrofinance was listed in the study as one of eight global organizations "working on innovative ways of using microfinance to provide clean energy in developing countries". (p.21)
J2008 Tech Awards TONIGHT! Join a Live Webcast 7:00 pm PST
Mr. D. Vidya Sagar, Director of SKG Sangha, INDIA, is part of an esteemed group of 2008 Tech Laureates, who were selected from hundreds of nominations representing 68 countries. Today, twenty-five innovators from around the world, recognized for developing and applying technology to benefit humanity, will receive the 2008 Tech Award in San Jose, California.
These Laureates have developed new technological solutions or innovative ways to use existing technologies to significantly improve the lives of people around the world. This year, the 2008 Laureates represent the truly global vision of the program, spanning countries such as Senegal, Peru, Hungary, Canada, Namibia, Germany, Egypt, India, United Kingdom, Laos and the United States. Their work impacts people in many more countries worldwide.
Professor Muhammad Yunus, pioneer of microcredit and founder of Grameen Bank, is the recipient of the 2008 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award. Dr. Yunus will accept this distinguished honor during The Tech Awards Gala tonight!
GreenMicrofinance team welcomes Mr. D. Vidya Sagar, this coming weekend to Philadelphia as our guest. On Saturday evening, we are hosting an event, Harnessing Clean Energy to Microfinance: Waste is Wealth, during which Mr. Sagar will be sharing on biogas technologies that address a range of issues including energy, sanitation, poverty, health, and education. Please check Betsy Teutsch's blog post for more information on our First Delaware Valley Event.
Over the past days we have been video-taping various folks here at the conference. I had the privilege to meet and chat with Ingrid Munro founder of JamiiBoro in Kenya, a member organization that works with and uplifts street beggars.
The story of those who have been supported by JamiiBoro is an inspiration – whether through microfinance program or through her housing program and Levuka, a program for alcoholics. Another amazing initiative is Kaputei Town, a housing initiative for some 2,000 families, that will provide employment, housing, and a safe environment in which to live. Ingrid was able to secure around 290 acres of prime land in Kisaju for this project.
Beyond the conversation of our work over the past 28 years with the poor, two white-haired grandmothers here at the Summit shared stories of our children and grandchildren.
Ingrid has 5 children, some of whom were adopted. My oldest son and his wife from Vermont are adopting Poojah, an Indian six year old girl who was abandoned in the streets of New Delhi two years ago. She will be my eighth grandchild and will be well loved. As I encounter street beggars and children again, I will always be reminded of both Ingrid’s work and Poojah’s early years.
Today was a breakthrough! Since 2002, GreenMicrofinance has been participating and leading panels on microfinance and the environment at various Microcredit Summit gatherings- Bangladesh 2004; Chile 2005, Halifax 2006, and today in Bali.
During today's session on Microfinance, Their Clients, and Clean Energy: Making a Positive Impact on the Environment there was a definite shift in interest and ‘energy' around the topic. THE LIGHTS ARE ON!
Craig Wilson from The Foundation for Development Cooperation based in Australia and my colleague, Kathleen Robbins from GreenMicrofinance, provided a macro overview of moving forward with clean energy and the microfinance.
We then shifted to the local perspective. Paul Thomas, Founder and Exective Director, Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF), India, and Chitta Ranjan Chaki, Deputy General Manager, Grameen Shakti, Bangladesh, both provided very comprehensive overviews of their clean energy initiatives.
ESAF in partnership with GreenMicrofinance is developing a clean energy lending program; they recently completed a market survey of 1,200 clients in four States in which they work. A couple of highlights from the survey include:
One I can't help but be impressed with the work of Grameen Shakti, which incorporated in 1996, and which provides energy services in remote rural areas of Bangladesh. GS sells, installs, and maintains solar photovoltaic systems, and has biogas, solar thermal, and wind programs.
The session was very well attended with about 45 participants from government, NGOs, energy service providers, national banks, advocacy groups, and microfinance institutions. We invited the group to post on this blog some of their thoughts and questions to further the dialogue on this panel theme.
From my own perspective, I think we need to clearly identify our vision within the microfinance sector, continue to develop innovative solutions, and promote champions (like Paul Thomas and Chitta Chaki), who will reenergize communities to work together to conserve our natural environment and to promote environmental justice.
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