8 Billion Reasons

It’s Time to Place Inclusive Finance at the Heart of Global Climate Action




WASHINGTON, D.C., June 6, 2024: Inclusive and responsible finance can be a catalyst for grassroots climate action, according to new research published today by CGAP, the global development partnership housed at the World Bank Group. 


Releasing the new analysis, CGAP’s CEO, Sophie Sirtaine, launched a bold call to place inclusive financial services at the heart of climate action, saying it was high time for stakeholders working on climate and those working on inclusive finance to collaborate.  


“As the climate crisis accelerates, the lives and livelihoods of billions of people are becoming increasingly at risk,” said Ms Sirtaine. “3.3 billion people live in regions classified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as ‘highly vulnerable’ to climate change. Around 1 billion of these people do not have access to a bank account or any other form of financial services such as savings, insurance, loans, or remittances,” she said.


“Put simply, we know that the world cannot tackle poverty effectively without solving climate change. But we cannot tackle climate change effectively – and for everyone – without inclusive financial services.”


“We called this analysis ‘8 Billion Reasons’ because every person on our planet needs the opportunity to adapt to climate change and participate in a just green transition – not just those living in rich countries.”


A new global finance goal is expected to be adopted in COP29 in Baku and the OECD recently reported that developed countries exceeded the annual $100 billion goal for climate finance for the first time in 2022. But as negotiators pour over the details, CGAP’s Climate Lead, Peter Zetterli, said that very little attention is being paid to the importance of channeling climate finance to those who need it most. 


"The hundreds of millions of people living in poverty rarely have the opportunity to benefit directly from national and regional climate efforts. This can exacerbate inequalities and leave low-income communities disempowered from taking action themselves,” he said.


“Inclusive financial services are a crucial tool for bridging this gap. Payments, insurance, credit, and savings products are not just services; they are lifelines that enable communities vulnerable to climate change to build resilience to climate shocks, adapt to change by securing and diversifying incomes, and access the green technologies and practices necessary to participate in a just transition.”


“They can also enable greater collective impact by broadening the base of people able to take climate action. This is important for individuals and it’s important for global climate efforts.”