"Since 2002, GreenMicrofinance (GMf™) has paired the power of renewable energy with the engine of microfinance. Our work with microfinance institutions (MFI’s) assists them in providing their clients with clean, renewable, locally-based energy technologies - solar, wind, hydro, and biomass - which enhance their physical and economic well-being while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. Though the developing world's contribution to global warming is miniscule, the effects of climate change such as flooding, droughts, and desertification have devastating impacts on these populations, the world’s most vulnerable. GMf’s educational, technical, and financial services help microfinance clients thrive, not just subsist, in the world’s emerging green, carbon-sensitive economy."

"GMf participated in the 2008 Asia-Pacific Microcredit Summit Bali and served as the official USAID microLINKS blog. Following our time in Indonesia, GMf team members visited Kerala in south India, to witness first hand the greening efforts of two MFI’s with which GreenMicrofinance collaborates, Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) and Wesco Credit. We are extremely impressed by their efforts to scale up their clean energy lending initiatives; this paper highlights several of their biogas initiatives which generate renewable energy, a local resource which simultaneously helps their clients overcome energy poverty and provides greenhouse gas emission offsetting."

"Through ESAF’s partnership with GreenMicrofinance, they seek to launch a long term energy program, which will encompass a full range of appropriate energy options focused on biogas, biofuel, and solar. They seek to promote appropriate biofuels, which may include jatropha planting, for small and marginal farmers to convert biomass to liquid biofuels. Wesco Credit and ESAF are working with GreenMicrofinance to secure the needed financing to scale up their present initiatives and to integrate new clean energy initiatives."

"Harnessing clean energy to microfinance can bring the low-income poor up out of poverty, without further compromising our already stressed planet. Indeed, it is beneficial not just to microfinance clients, but to the whole planet, to create viable, renewable, localized energy sources which simultaneously improve health and reduce deforestation!"

Read the article in full here [http://www.hedon.info/docs/Israel_WasteToWealth_11.02.08_Dec081.pdf|"Waste To Wealth"]

Contributed by: Elizabeth Israel