Cooking shouldn’t kill.
It’s a simple premise, yet every year more than 4 million people die from exposure to household air pollution from cooking over open fires or traditional cookstoves. Girls and women often spend hours collecting and carrying heavy loads of wood and other fuels for cooking. And the smoke from traditional cookstoves contributes to the growing threat of climate change.
This is one of public health’s greatest challenges – and solving it is one of our greatest opportunities.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that clean cooking solutions spark a “virtuous circle.” They help promote the health of families, safety and opportunities for girls and women, and the sustainability of the planet.
Over the past two days, leaders from around the world and from across sectors – from governments, private companies, academia, and non-governmental groups – gathered together at a summit for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership, led by the UN Foundation, that is working to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.
Cookstoves Future Summit
The “Cookstoves Future Summit” provided an opportunity for partners of the Alliance to assess progress to date and to step up their commitment. The news on both fronts is very encouraging:
- Progress to date: Since its launch in 2010, the Alliance has helped facilitate the adoption of 20 million cleaner and more efficient cookstoves – important progress toward its goal for 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020.
- New commitments: Today, more than 70 representatives from government, the private sector, investors, UN agencies, and non-governmental organizations collectively committed more than $400 million over the next three years to scale up clean cooking solutions.
Just as exciting, implementing countries committed more than $250 million. These Alliance partner nations – whose citizens currently rely on unclean and inefficient traditional cookstoves or open fires – outlined plans for programs aimed at increasing access to clean, efficient cookstoves and fuels.
The work of the Alliance aligns with the United Nations’ push to eradicate poverty and move millions of people toward prosperity, better health, and a cleaner world.
To advance these goals, the United Nations Foundation today also renewed our commitment to the Alliance, which we are proud to host.
- First, as host of the Alliance secretariat, the Foundation will continue to provide support valued at approximately half a million dollars a year over the next three years.
- As part of our support for the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and the Every Woman Every Child movement – which focus on expanding access to sustainable energy and improving women’s and children’s health, respectively – we will continue to advance the mission of the Alliance.
- We are working through our Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, known as MAMA, to develop cookstoves-related mobile messages that will reach at least 2 million women and families over the next three years.
- Finally, the Foundation is working with UN partners to shape and foster consensus around a strong post-2015 development agenda. This includes encouraging the integration of key cookstoves issues.