Secretary Clinton Announces Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

New Initiative To Improve Global Health Through Clean Energy Technologies

New York, NY

September 2, 2010


Megan Rabbitt

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today the formation of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a more than $60 million dollar public-private partnership to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.  Exposure to smoke from traditional stoves and open fires – the primary means of cooking and heating for 3 billion people in developing countries – causes almost 2 million deaths annually, with women and young children affected most.  That is a life lost every 16 seconds.

Announced during the Secretary’s remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative forum, the Alliance’s goal is for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020.  The Alliance, led by the United Nations Foundation, will bring together leading foundations, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, corporate leaders, governments and UN agencies to help overcome current barriers and stimulate a thriving global market for clean cookstoves.

“Today we can finally envision a future in which open fires and dirty stoves are replaced by clean, efficient and affordable stoves and fuels all over the world — stoves that still cost as little as $25,” said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  “By upgrading these dirty stoves, millions of lives could be saved and improved.  Clean stoves could be as transformative as bed nets or vaccines.”

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 aero¬sols 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.

To learn more about the Alliance please visit  For more information contact John Anthony at or by phone at 202.277.2103.

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.

Partner Quotes

“Energy is the essential enabler of the Millennium Development Goals,” said United Nations Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth. “Broader access to electricity and modern fuels doesn’t just provide light or move machinery. It powers education, health care, and prosperity, and through sustainable technologies, such as solar panels and clean and efficient cookstoves, lives are saved and our environment protected.”

“Cooking a meal shouldn’t be hazardous to your health,” Wirth added. “Cookstoves that reduce fuel consumption and operate cleanly will save lives, prevent disease, provide more time for women and girls to devote to schooling and earn money and reduce environmental degradation.  That addresses almost all of the MDGs.  The impressive set of partners who have joined the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves collectively have the expertise and resources to clear the way for comprehensive adoption of clean cooking technologies and fuels.”

“For ten years we have been helping to deliver market-based solutions to selling clean cookstoves in India, China, Central America and Africa. The sector has made great progress.  However, if we are going to dramatically reduce harmful cooking smoke we need the global community to make this a priority,” said Shell Foundation Director Chris West. “Stove manufacturers face numerous barriers to successfully selling clean cookstoves at scale – and just like any infant industry they need support to address those barriers. That is why we helped co-found the Global Alliance and remain an active supporter.”

“EPA is proud to partner with the State Department, our Administration colleagues, the United Nations Foundation, and the other Alliance partners to address one of the greatest environmental health risks facing the international community today, said Lisa P. Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator.  “As a first step in this new partnership, EPA will invest $6 million over the next five years to enhance efforts at stove testing and evaluation, cookstove design innovation and assessments of health benefits.  For more than eight years, EPA has been a leader in this field, and we will bring our expertise, our lessons learned and our global network to launching and leading the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.”

“Given our long track record of supporting pediatric health initiatives and our commitment to protecting the environment, we are very proud to be a Founding Partner of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves,” said Tom Nides, Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley.  “We look forward to committing our intellectual capital to this effort and working with our Alliance partners to address this pressing issue in the months and years ahead.”

“WHO is wholeheartedly joining in and supporting the work of the cookstoves alliance as it has the potential to halve childhood pneumonia mortality and dramatically improve the health of women through reducing lung cancer and disabling respiratory disease,” said Dr Maria Neira, World Health Organization Director for the Department of Public Health and Environment.  “Less time required for cooking and collecting wood can free women for education and other health enhancing activities. WHO will contribute to achieving this change, through helping countries identify technologies and strategies that can yield the best health impact and by supporting systematic monitoring of health benefits from different approaches and technologies. WHO sees this as a key initiative to address the 2 million premature deaths a year due to this smoke pollution, by cleaning up indoor air.”

“Over the next two years, WFP aims to reach 6 million people, providing safe stoves and other initiatives that help to protect the environment and reduce the risk of violence to women who would otherwise have to go in search of firewood,” said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme.  The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves will help us to reach millions more.”

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, said:”UNEP and partners have 10 years experience in assisting developing country entrepreneurs establish clean energy businesses including those making and marketing alternative and efficient cook stoves. This new alliance is an opportunity to rapidly scale-up such initiatives, potentially delivering dramatic health and wider social and environmental benefits including green jobs, reductions in deforestation and cuts in emissions of black carbon–a pollutant now making a significant contribution to current climate change.”

“The environment, renewable energy, and improved welfare of women and children are clearly defined SNV strategic concerns and each of our projects around the world is undertaken with them in consideration, said Dirk Elsen Chief Executive Officer of SNV: Netherlands Development Organisation.  “Therefore, we are very excited about joining the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, whose mission and goals fit in perfectly with these SNV strategic priorities.  As a Founding Partner in the Alliance, we intend to take an active role in helping define standards, encourage research, and set the vision for the global deployment of improved cookstoves.  Participating in the Alliance’s launch at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative is a terrific opportunity for SNV to help promote the Alliance’s vision and begin sharing our expertise in bio-energy implementation with our co- Founding Partners and other CGI attendees.”