Sustainable technologies: finding financing models that work

From Global development | The Guardian Thu Dec 13 2012, 11:59:06

Provide easy access to credit to make clean technology affordable for people on low incomes in developing countries

Poverty reduction and environmental sustainability are sometimes seen as separate issues, but often tackling one also helps to address the other.

Take cookstoves for example: dirty but cheap, they can trap people in poverty. Smoke inhalation from traditional cookstoves and open fires causes nearly 2 million deaths annually, with women and young children the most affected.

Other examples are solid waste disposal and kerosene lamps. All three have sustainable alternatives: clean-burning stoves, solar toilets and solar lights. Yet half of the world's population - and 75% of south Asians - continue to burn solid fuels in traditional cookstoves, only 3% of Africans have bought a solar light, and take-up of solar toilets is low. There are many reasons why sustainable alternatives aren't popular - and some are directly related to the global development community.

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