Business Achievement: Financing

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Oxfam America and the World Food Program for the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative which is developing crop insurance as a climate resilience and adaptation measure for farmers in Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi and Zambia. In rural communities where insurance was an unknown concept, these organizations and their local partners have persuaded more than 30,000 farmers in Ethiopia and Senegal to purchase-with a mix of cash and sweat equity-crop insurance.

The parametric insurance policies pay farmers for estimated losses when seasonal rainfall totals fall below a certain threshold. In R4's Q2 2015 report, premiums of $306,000 had been collected in Ethiopia and Senegal on insured value of $1.5 million. Payouts have totaled $36,000 so far.

R4 also promotes physical adaptation measures, such as stone bunds (retaining walls) and ponds to retain rainfall, as well as disaster risk reduction training and programs that encourages savings.

While adaptation is usually associated with engineering solutions, insurance has become increasingly viewed as an important strategy to mitigate the damage from extreme weather and climate change in the developing world. In June 2015, the G7 member nations agreed to provide insurance against climate-related hazards for 400 million vulnerable people.

One of the 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, Oxfam America works to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice in more than 90 countries. The World Food Program is the food assistance branch of the UN.

Renovate America for surpassing $1 billion in financing for residential energy efficiency, water conservation and distributed solar PV improvements through its four-year-old Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Program. HERO is far and away the leading administrator of residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs in the nation, having made home energy and water upgrades affordable to more than 45,000 homeowners. HERO is made available through a public-private partnership with over 360 communities representing nearly 80% of California.

According to PACENow.org, a total of $1.184 billion in home improvements have been financed through PACE programs nationwide, making HERO the leader with almost 90% of national market share. Over the useful lifetime of the installed products and systems, the $1 billion in improvements and distributed PV financed through HERO are projected to save homeowners $2 billion on energy bills, conserve 6.7 billion kWh of electricity, reduce emissions by 1.8 million tons and save more than 2.1 billion gallons of water. According to Renovate America, HERO also has created more than 8,400 jobs and generated aggregate economic impact of more than $1.7 billion in the state of California, with planned expansion into other states in 2016.