Vulnerable communities face the brunt of climate change—from rising sea levels and extreme weather events to prolonged severe droughts and flooding. According to the World Bank, without effective mitigation measures, climate change could push more than 100 million people into poverty by 2030.
To help the most vulnerable communities become more resilient to the effects of climate change, financial institutions should support small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). In emerging economies, SMEs account for as much as 45% of employment and up to 33% of gross domestic product—and these numbers are significantly higher when informal SMEs are included.
When an SME builds up its own climate resilience, it can have cascading effects in the community around it.