If you’re like me, you take cooking for granted. Step into the kitchen, turn on the stove, and proceed to make a delicious meal without ever worrying that the stove heating your food could actually be harmful to your health.
But such is not the case for the 3 billion people around the world who still use polluting, inefficient stoves to cook their daily meals, and the sad truth is that 1.9 million of them die prematurely each year from the exposure to cookstove smoke.
In addition, women and children are at risk while spending hours foraging for fuel, especially in conflict zones.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership to save lives, empower women, improve livelihoods, and combat climate change by expanding the worldwide market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions in conjunction with public, private and nonprofit partners.
“Exposure to cookstove smoke doubles a child’s risk of contracting pneumonia.”
The alliance’s bold “100 by 20” goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. This campaign will dramatically reduce the cost of fuel, or reduce the time people (mainly women and girls) spend collecting fuel.
“A clean cookstove can reduce carbon emissions by up to 3 tons per year.”
What is a Clean Cookstove?
Key elements of this critical issue include: clean fuels, new stove technologies, and behavioral and structural solutions. Mechanisms for delivering these solutions include alternative business models, carbon credits, government programs, and humanitarian efforts.
Many Options Improve Situation
- Electric stoves (cleanest option within a home)
- Biogas and propane (can reduce pollution by up to 95%)
- Ethanol and kerosene (much better that solid biomass)
- Solar cookers (no pollution, but not always possible)
- Charcoal stoves (charcoal stoves reduce particle emissions)
- Using a chimney (vital for removing smoke from dwelling)
- Cooking outdoors (good option when weather permits)
- Proper ventilation (ensures supply of fresh oxygen)