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Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay,
In spite of demonstrated need and demand throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, many micro,
small, or medium-sized enterprises are not able to access funding for clean energy or energy
efficiency technologies that could reduce energy costs and improve competitiveness. In addition,
finance for adaptation activities is also scarce.
The introduction of microfinance in Latin America is a groundbreaking innovation because it
enables these enterprises to access climate finance for the first time. EcoMicro is building the capacity of the region’s
microfinance institutions so that they have the appropriate tools and know-how to develop and
offer green financial products that help clients address climate change.
- EcoMicro is training 12 microfinance institutions to develop green financial products for
climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.
- Each microfinance institution receives a USD 280,000 grant from EcoMicro for technical
assistance, which is matched with funds from the microfinance institution itself.
- Two microfinance institutions in Mexico and Peru, for example, are expected to mobilize an
additional USD 5.9 million to provide clean energy and energy efficiency solutions for more than
5,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in poor areas, enabling them to cut greenhouse
gas emissions by up to 20%.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that global warming will bring significant
changes to Latin America and the Caribbean, affecting crop yields, access to water, energy production and
These climate effects threaten to undermine long-term development efforts, and will affect low-income
populations disproportionately. Low-income populations often work in sectors vulnerable to climate
change, such as farming, fishing, or other productive areas in which micro, small, or medium-sized
enterprises are active.
Many of these enterprises are not able to access clean energy or energy efficiency technologies that
could reduce energy costs and improve competitiveness. A primary cause of this is that their financial
providers, mainly microfinance institutions, do not have the appropriate tools and know-how to develop
and offer sustainable green financial products to finance both mitigation and adaptation activities.
EcoMicro is a USD 7 million program co-financed by the Multilateral Investment Fund and the Nordic
Development Fund. Designed for Latin American and Caribbean microfinance institutions, its purpose is to
develop green finance products so that micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and low-income
households can access clean energy, increase their energy efficiency, or adapt to climate change.
Helping the planet
One of the key components of the EcoMicro program is to help microfinance institutions reduce their
energy consumption and carbon footprint. The program is also reducing emissions by increasing micro,
small, or medium-sized enterprises’ access to clean energy and energy efficient products.
The innovative EcoMicro programme offers solutions not only for microfinance clients, but also for the
institutions themselves. EcoMicro enables microfinance institutions to green their own operations and to
reduce the vulnerability of their existing loan portfolios to climate change impacts.
Two microfinance institutions in Mexico and Peru, for example, are expected to mobilize an additional USD
5.9 million to provide clean energy and energy efficiency solutions for more than 5,000 micro, small and
medium-sized enterprises in poor areas, enabling them to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20%.
More than 800 smallholder farmers in Bolivia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic are testing different
models for adaptation financing. These models aim to help farmers maintain or increase their income in
spite of climate change threats. In Bolivia, a US$1 million concessional loan from the Climate Investment
Funds has been endorsed to scale-up the product and reach an additional 1,000 smallholder farmers.
Participating microfinance institutions have committed to bringing to scale the green finance products
that are being developed and tested. For example, Te Creemos in Mexico, aims to scale up its pilot
project with 100 medium-sized enterprises, to reach 2.5% of its loan portfolio, equivalent to mobilizing
at least USD $700,000 for green finance products for renewable energy.
The programmatic approach of EcoMicro facilitates the replicability of green microfinance products not
only throughout Latin America and the Caribbean but in other developing regions, such as Africa and Asia,
by facilitating South-South collaboration and knowledge transfer among relevant stakeholders.
EcoMicro dedicates significant resources to generate knowledge in the form of lessons learned, best
practices and key factors for success or failure, which will be captured, synthetized and disseminated.
This is expected to advance learning in this new area of green finance for climate change mitigation and
Individual projects will be evaluated and documented, drawing practical lessons from what has worked and
what has not. The case studies that result from these conclusions will be compiled and used in other
countries as examples for the industry.
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