The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves — a partnership of governments, non-profit organizations, United Nations agencies, and the private sector working together to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions — appeared today on The Martha Stewart Show to inform Stewart’s vast audience about the dangers posed by exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and to invite viewers to get engaged in the clean cookstoves movement.
Leslie Cordes, Acting Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, said, “a major component of the mission of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is to educate the public about the unique role clean cookstoves play in saving lives, improving livelihoods, empowering women, and combating climate change. Martha Stewart, with her millions of loyal viewers and followers, gave the Alliance an invaluable opportunity to raise awareness about this important issue.”
Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), appeared on the show to explain how clean cookstoves can deliver significant environmental and health benefits in the developing world. Jackson said, “this is a women’s issue, a childrens’ issue, and an economic issue.”
The Alliance was represented by Aaron Sherinian of the United Nations Foundation, which leads the Alliance’s work. Sherinian underscored the basic truth that “cooking shouldn’t kill, but for many women and families around the world it does. Everyone can get involved and tell the world that this issue matters and should be at the top of the global agenda.”
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Cookstove smoke contributes to a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts such as early childhood pneumonia, emphysema, lung cancer, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and low birth weight.
The smoke from inefficient stoves continues to contribute to global climate change by producing harmful greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane, and aerosols such as black carbon. Reliance on biomass for cooking and heating also increases pressure on local natural resources and forces women and children to spend many hours each week collecting firewood — an especially dangerous task for women and girls in refugee camps and conflict zones.
The use of efficient cookstoves can dramatically reduce fuel consumption and exposure to harmful smoke. Recent scientific evidence confirms that the greater the emissions reductions, the greater the health benefits. More efficient stoves also reduce the time people (usually women and girls) have to spend collecting fuel, and since stoves last for several years, the accumulated savings in time and cost can be invested back into families, communities and economies.
The reductions in emissions achieved by clean cookstoves have the potential to create revenues from carbon credits. Stove companies can use this revenue to reduce stove prices or expand into new markets. More broadly, the entire clean cookstove supply-chain should be a source of economic opportunity and job creation at the local level.
To achieve its ‘100 by 20’ goal, the Alliance will establish industry standards; spur innovative financing mechanisms; champion the cause across the donor and development communities; develop indoor air quality guidelines; address global tax and tariff barriers; field test clean stoves and fuels; and develop research roadmaps across key sectors such as health, climate, technology and fuels.
A thriving global industry for clean cooking solutions will provide a range of long-term benefits for the entire world — from improving global health to combating climate change.
Alliance Founding Partners
United Nations Foundation, Shell Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of State, World Health Organization (WHO), German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Morgan Stanley, UN-Energy, World Food Programme, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Industrial Development Organization, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Institutes of Health, and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), UN High Commissioner for Refugees, SNV: Netherlands Development Organisation, Shell, Government of Peru, Government of Norway, Republic of Malta.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and implements public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through campaigns and partnerships, the organization connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.