Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires – the primary means of cooking and heating for nearly three billion people in the developing world – causes four million premature deaths annually. It is the fourth worst overall health risk factor in the world, and second worst for women and girls. Traditional cookstoves are also an important contributor to climate change at the regional and global level, and contribute over 20 percent of global black carbon emissions. Reliance on biomass for cooking and heating forces women and children to spend hours each week collecting wood, during which time they often face severe personal security risks , especially in conflict zones. Cooking over open fires also puts women and girls at risk of debilitating burns and increases pressure on local natural resources (e.g., forests, wildlife habitat).
In September 2010, the U.S. Department of State and the Environmental Protection Agency helped launch the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York, NY. The Alliance is an innovative public-private partnership, led by the United Nations Foundation and comprising over 1,000 partners to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The use of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels can save fuel and dramatically reduce exposure to cookstove smoke. Development of a global clean cookstove industry that is constantly innovating to improve design and performance and meet women’s needs as cooks, while making clean stoves and fuels more affordable, can lead the way to widespread adoption of clean cooking solutions.
The Alliance’s ‘100 by 20’ goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. Through 2014, the U.S. Government has obligated over $80 million to the clean cooking sector and the Alliance – outpacing its original 5-year commitment of $50 million through 2015. U.S. government support to help the Alliance promote a more effective cookstoves sector could reach as much as $325 million through 2020. These commitments focus on the following:
Learn more at www.cleancookstoves.org.