Author: Johan Bastiaensen - Frédéric Huybrechs
Over the last decade, one of the key rising topics in microfinance has been the sector’s response to environmental challenges, and this will continue to take centre stage. In the recently released Financial Inclusion Compass 2019, ‘Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation’ is only second to Agri-finance in the New Areas of Focus Index, which asks respondents across the sector to look 5-10 years ahead. In recognition of these rising environmental concerns, the European Microfinance Award 2019 sought to highlight outstanding innovations in Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change. The last press release of European Microfinance Week, and the keynote address from the Award ceremony also called for urgent action on climate change. In this blogpost, we reflect on this timely call for action and question how transformative the financial inclusion sector is when it comes to responding to climate change. We do this on the basis of our past research on this topic and build on some of the messages put forward during the European Microfinance Award 2019 Ceremony.