How green is microfinance?

An interesting post by DeSmogBlog raises the question of whether microfinance is good or detrimental to the environment.  A report by GreenMicrofinance and Inter-American Development Bank, “The Missing Bottom Line: Microfinance and the Environment,” reveals the interesting relationship between the environment and microfinance. The report looks at how some business opportunities are founded upon detrimental environmental processes – such as misuse or wasting of natural resources, use of harmful products like pesticide or carcinogens, etc – and, as a result, are not green.  Conversely, the report also mentions the unintended consequences and effects that environmentally un-friendly practices and climate change have on creating a cycle of poverty, generating the need for microfinance in the first place. Several organizations and initiatives are focusing on providing greener options and incentives to microfinancees – such as using solar LED for lighting rather than kerosene lamps.

About CTED

CTED, as part of the New York University Abu Dhabi Research Grant, is a multidisciplinary research lab that focuses on combining economic principles, technological advances, and human-centric design to create innovative solutions for the problems experienced in emerging regions.
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