the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

Empowering community forests in the fight against climate change

By Gregory Watson

By Ben Hodgdon and Gregory Watson

When most people think about climate change, the first thing that comes to mind is the burning of fossil fuels for energy or transport. Rarely are forests considered. But they must be. The deal struck at the Paris climate change summit (COP 21) in December 2015 confirmed this. Forests and forestry, long a side note to larger conversations about reduction of emissions from energy supply and use, were topics of increased focus and discussion. 

A fruitful 2015 and exciting 2016 for EcoMicro

By Gregory Watson

The MIF and Nordic Development Fund’s (NDF) EcoMicro program  had a busy 2015.  For those of you unfamiliar with EcoMicro, this award-winning  program provides technical assistance to financial institutions to develop green lending products, measure and mitigate climate risk in their portfolios, and reduce the environmental impact of their own operations.

Green credit takes root in Mexico

By Gregory Watson

When the MIF, in partnership with the Nordic Development Fund, first launched the EcoMicro program—which works with microfinance institutions in the region to develop green credit products—there was a lot we didn’t know for sure. Were there many MFIs out there seeking to make their portfolios more environmentally friendly? Would there be demand among customers for loans to help them make their homes or businesses more energy efficient? And once the pilot versions of these green credit products had been introduced, would they be scaled up and reach sustainability? 

Rio+20: Dispatch from the ground

By Gregory Watson


Having been in the ground now for two days at the 
Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the most interesting things I have heard so far in the sessions I have attended. I have been at the Corporate Sustainability Forum since Saturday. The forum, attended by nearly 2,500 people, is an event to discuss concrete private sector solutions to energy poverty and climate change.

The Climatescope: A market based approach to climate change

By Gregory Watson

El cambio climático representa un gran reto para América Latina y el Caribe: la necesidad de reducir las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero y mejorar la eficiencia energética, y al mismo tiempo ofrecer a los ciudadanos con mayores niveles de energía. La Agencia Internacional de Energía prevé que las necesidades energéticas de la región será 75% mayor en 2030, lo que requiere aproximadamente $ 1,8 mil millones en nueva infraestructura energética. Las necesidades son inmensas: 45 millones de habitantes de la región no tienen acceso a servicios eléctricos, y aproximadamente 83 millones de personas aún cocinan con biomasa tradicional.