Inefficient cookstoves and open fires are a major source of greenhouse gases and account for over 20 percent of global black carbon emissions. Recent studies show that of all the presently available black carbon mitigation measures, wide-scale adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves would yield the greatest health co-benefits. Addressing the inefficiencies in current cookstove models and the use of solid fuel would also reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions, land degradation and deforestation, and cut time spent collecting fuel often in dangerous conditions, a major social and economic burden on women and children.

Since the last Boiling Point edition, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has embarked on a number of initiatives to ramp up its climate and environmental work.

When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) in February 2012, she cited the importance of clean cookstoves and fuels in the global fight to mitigate harmful gases associated with climate change. Since then, the Alliance has been accepted as a non-governmental member of the CCAC. The significant synergies that exist between its goals and objectives and those of CCAC will be instrumental in developing policies and programs to reduce emissions of black carbon and short-lived forcers from cookstoves and fuels, and enhance penetration of clean cooking solutions in developing countries.


Figure 1: Household air pollution escapes through the roof of this home in Guatemala (Source: Nigel Bruce)

Earlier this year, the Alliance issued its second Request for Proposals (RFP): Multiscale Geospatial Mapping of Non-Renewable Fuel Harvesting for Biomass Fuels. The main objective of this RFP is to develop geospatial estimates of the fraction of non-renewable biomass (fNRB) at national and sub-national levels for Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. Such an undertaking would enable clean cookstove and fuel programs to incorporate environmental concerns – including sustainability of fuelwood and potential carbon offsets – into their planning processes.

After a number of submissions and a peer-review process, the Alliance selected Professor Robert Bailis of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Dr. Omar Masera of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) to lead a project to develop spatially explicit global datasets of woodfuel demand, supply potential, woodshed analyses and estimates of fNRB; to conduct analyses in "high risk" countries; and to develop a publicly available web-based tool that Alliance partners and other stakeholders can use to assess fNRB in a variety of contexts. This RFP is part of the Alliance’s overall Research Platform, which includes the commissioning, convening, integrating of research, as well as fostering partnerships to expand funding.

Over the next few years, Alliance environmental research priorities will include a focus on activities to inform clean cookstove designs and standards development, enable robust estimates of the greenhouse gas mitigation and other co-benefits from clean cookstoves and fuels programs, and, together with improved methodologies for carbon offset projects, facilitate the development of carbon markets to enable widespread adoption of clean cooking solutions.

In 2013, the Alliance will host a series of expert webinars on environmental topics, such as renewability, short lived climate forcers, black carbon, and best practices in estimating carbon savings. Please check the Alliance’s events page for details or email climate at cleancookstoves.org to be added to the webinar email list.

The achievement of the Alliance’s ‘100 by 20’ goal would be a clear indication of humans taking tangible steps to adapt their behavior relative to the climate and the environment. Clean cookstoves and fuels are therefore integral parts of worldwide efforts to reduce man-made climate change and protect the environment for future generations to come.

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Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study: Household Air Pollution Leads to 4 Million Deaths Annually

The entire clean cooking sector learned a shocking fact in December: household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels kills four million people annually – double the previously known estimate.

That was the news from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 published in The Lancet on December 13. The study finds that as a result of burning solid fuel for cooking, 3.5 million deaths are directly associated with household air pollution (HAP) each year. In addition, another 500,000 deaths from outdoor air pollution are caused by cooking, with a large share of outdoor pollution in regions like Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa originating from household solid fuel use.

Millions more are sickened from lung cancer and disease, child lower respiratory infections, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts associated with HAP. The results demonstrate the continued impact of HAP on child survival and life-expectancy, and underscore the link between HAP and noncommunicable diseases.

The HAP findings add increased urgency to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’ mission to save and improve lives through the creation of a market for clean, safe, efficient, and affordable household cooking solutions. ‘The Alliance will accelerate its work to increase the accessibility, affordability, and eventual adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels at scale, informed by rigorous in-country collaboration with our partners and consultation with users and consumers,’ said Alliance executive director Radha Muthiah.

Dr. Kirk R. Smith, professor of global environmental health at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of The Lancet article, told the Alliance, ‘One of the most alarming findings is that smoke from cooking fires was found to be the largest environmental threat to health in the world today.’ Dr. Smith also provided the sector with an analysis of the HAP findings from the study, available on the Alliance website.

The burden of disease from dozens of leading public health risk factors, including high blood pressure, tobacco, alcohol use, and nutritional factors, were also updated in the study. The study represents the work of 486 co-authors from 50 countries, an effort led by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

An expert panel discussed the HAP findings and the work of the Alliance and its partners at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Monday, December 17. Video and audio are available on the Alliance’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/cookstovesalliance.

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Figure 2: An expert panel gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Monday December 17, to discuss the HAP findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. From left to right are: Dr. Kirk R. Smith, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Kalpana Balakrishnan, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India; Thomas J. Bollyky, Council on Foreign Relations; Dr. Lynn Goldman, The George Washington University; and Dr. Sumi Mehta, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. (Source: Nathan Mitchell).

Last edited by Mohamed Allapitchai .
Page last modified on Sunday April 7, 2013 13:16:04 GMT.
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