At the closing plenary of the 2011 annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, Chef José Andrés, Culinary Ambassador to the Alliance, described the progress of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves in its first year.
Thank you Mr. President. Allow me to invite first, key members of the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Let me invite Reema Nanavaty of the Self-Employed Women’s Association, Radha Muthiah of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Mary Lou Benecke of Dow Corning, and Kris M. Balderston of the U.S. Department of State. Please, a big round of applause to all of them.
Last year at CGI, Secretary Clinton stood on this stage and launched the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. It was the first time that the world ever came together around this issue. One year later, you may ask yourself why a Chef, unannounced, is standing before you to provide a progress report. And I will tell you. Because I’m a Chef, and as chefs, we feed the few, but we are ready and know how to feed the many. Cooking shouldn’t kill people of the world, but it does, and I’ve seen this firsthand, many times. The Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has moved rapidly to position the cookstoves sector to achieve unprecedented global progress. We brought this issue to the world stage and we have high-profile ambassadors, such as Secretary Clinton herself, or Julia Roberts. And I’m very proud to announce today that I’m also to be named the new Culinary Ambassador for the Alliance.
But before I go on, let me thank Secretary Clinton for her amazing leadership on this issue. Of all the amazing things the Alliance has achieved is being in part because her hard work and to the true commitment to this issue. In our first year, the partners have committed over $80 million dollars. The Alliance has grown from 20 founding partners to more than 175, including 21 countries. More than 350 global experts came together to develop the first ever road map to transform the cookstoves sector. And we are on our way to establishing the global cookstoves standards.
But you know, we couldn’t be doing this without true support. Dow Corning has committed $5 million of unrestricted funding that will enable the Alliance to ramp up its global efforts to save and improve millions of lives in a significant way. Thank you very much.
Reema Nanavaty of the Self-Employed Women’s Association in India is with us today. Thank you for being here. SEWA, the name of the alliance, is one of the founding partners and they plan to sell – listen to this – 200,000 stoves to their members by the end of this year. Amazing job, well done.
But there is more, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation will provide up to $50 million dollars in debt financing or insurance over three years to support cookstoves projects. That’s amazing.
There’s even more. The State Department and USAID have committed $700,000 to provide, more or less, 30,000 clean cookstoves for individuals living in refugee camps in the Horn of Africa.
And as you can see, it’s been a busy and productive year. But the Alliance is well on its way to achieving what we call “100 by ‘20.” The ambitious goal of bringing to 100 million households clean cookstoves by the year 2020. We see very often that even with goodwill sometimes, unfortunately, money is thrown at the problems. Thanks to this Alliance, you are gonna see that money is gonna be invested into the solutions.