Female rural workers in a field Photo by Wim Opmeer, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest

Climate Change

Climate change and financial inclusion are linked

diagramPoor and vulnerable people in developing countries, especially women, suffer disproportionate effects of climate change on their health and livelihoods. Although financial services are only part of the solution, they are vital for empowering vulnerable populations to build resilience to climate change. Savings, insurance, credit, remittances, and social protection payments all have major roles to play in helping people prepare for and adapt to climate change.

However, CGAP research shows that most financial service providers don’t yet see climate adaptation as a top priority. Their efforts tend to focus on their own climate risk, reducing their carbon footprint, or lending for renewable energy. These efforts are vital, but cannot substitute for bolstering the adaptation and resilience of climate-exposed clients. 

Climate change is also increasingly threatening progress on financial inclusion, by making poor clients riskier and more expensive to serve. As the consequences of climate change grow rapidly, the financial inclusion community must learn to help both clients and providers better manage their climate risk to keep financial systems inclusive.

Considering compounding inequities and their major role in household resilience, women’s needs must take center stage. CGAP’s first dedicated publication on gender and climate, Bolstering Women’s Climate Resilience and Adaptation through Financial Services, provides illustrative examples of gendered impact when women face climate shocks and stresses that affect health, agricultural livelihoods, and women-owned businesses.

CGAP sees an increasingly urgent agenda for research and action at the crossroads of climate change and financial inclusion, and is working to find and test solutions that can help poor people manage and adapt to the changing world.

diagram that shows CGAP's work program on green development


Featured Podcast & Videos

Latest Research


Investor Roadmap for Inclusive Green Growth

This collaborative report by LeapFrog Investments, Temasek and CGAP shares new research that highlights the commercial impetus to accelerate a wave of green investment into emerging markets.

Climate Adaptation, Resilience, and Financial Inclusion: A New Agenda

In this Focus Note, CGAP calls for financial inclusion to be a cornerstone of action on climate adaptation, and proposes a new agenda for collaboration between financial inclusion and climate adaptation practitioners.

Climate Risk and Financial Inclusion: A Regulatory Perspective

Climate change risks may drive the financial sector away from serving the least profitable and most climate-exposed clients, namely low-income, rural households, and micro, small, and medium enterprises. This new working paper outlines how inclusive green finance policies can help reduce these risks, creating a more stable and resilient real economy.

Latest Blogs


How Do Financial Systems Support Climate Resilience?

The third in our three-part blog series with Decodis and MSC discusses our finding that different climate events, and different phases of those events, drive different needs for financial services.

How Can Insurance Help Build a Green, Resilient & Inclusive Future?

To ensure those living in poverty benefit from emerging models in insurance, we need to focus beyond traditional risk transfer and look at broader risk management. This blog outlines three priorities for driving systems change in inclusive insurance.

Adapting to or Just Muddling Through Climate Change?

The second blog in our series with Decodis and MSC explores our research finding that many poor households are just muddling through climate events rather than strategically adapting to long-term climate change in ways that enhance their resilience.