European Microfinance Award 2019 Focuses on How Financial Inclusion Sector can Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change
It hardly needs saying that Climate Change represents the greatest issue we face today. Slowly – excruciatingly so – action is being taken at the macro level, reining in carbon emissions to attempt to keep global temperature increases within manageable levels. However, tacking Climate Change requires battles on many fronts, and not just on the mitigation side (minimising the actual Climate Change that takes place) but on the adaptation side too: how can we live in a world with a climate different to that we’ve had before?
This is the challenge selected as the theme of the €100,000 European Microfinance Award 2019, which launches mid-March. Entitled “Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change”, it highlights the important role of the financial inclusion sector in increasing the resilience of low-income and financially excluded populations vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change.
Being resilient is especially critical for these groups, which not only disproportionately earn livelihoods from activities most affected by Climate Change (especially agriculture, forestry and fisheries) but the countries and regions in which they live are also those which will be most affected, by flooding, drought, extreme storms, erosion, and pestilence. And many live in countries whose limited economic and institutional capacities already curb their ability to cope in the face of existing weather-related challenges, which Climate Change exacerbates. All these adverse effects may be multiplied by the growing risk of climate migration, displacing people to urban areas and across borders as refugees.