Last September, the 193 member states of the United Nations agreed on a new ambitious set of global goals. The new Sustainable Development Goals marked a major step towards addressing poverty, inequality, and climate change over the next 15 years. These ambitions must also be accurately reflected in a solid framework of indicators to monitor progress, inform implementation, and ensure accountability.

As work towards setting the new framework continues, a growing group of organizations have been advocating for cooking energy and related issues to be consistently and accurately included.  Led by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Alliance) and ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy (ENERGIA), the organizations are inputting expertise from the clean cooking sector to ensure that leaders, particularly members of the Interagency Expert Group on SDG Indicators and the United Nations Statistical Commission, include strong indicators on air pollution, unpaid work, and household energy.

Scaling the adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels is imperative to ending energy poverty. Increasing access to clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels can also ensure lasting, inclusive gains in the areas of poverty eradication, food security, health and well-being, education, gender equality, economic growth, reducing inequalities, sustainable cities, environmental protection, and climate change mitigation. The cross-cutting issue of cooking energy must be prioritized in the implementation of the Agenda, but it must also be reflected in the indicator framework in a way that provides the best data and informs the most effective interventions.

In collaboration with partners and based on extensive consideration, the Alliance and ENERGIA have made indicator recommendations under Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3, 5, and 7 and our inputs have helped shape the current draft indicator framework. We support the indicators on air pollution, unpaid work, and clean cooking that are currently in the draft framework and categorized as “Green,” meaning that they have general agreement and are well established. It is imperative that these indicators remain in the SDG measurement framework and that expanding energy access and reducing air pollution remain priorities throughout implementation.

 

Air pollution indicator under SDG 3 on health:

 Target

 Indicator

Classification

  3.9   By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination

  Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution

  Green

 

The Alliance and ENERGIA strongly support the inclusion of this indicator, which has the support of WHO and many member states. It is important that household and ambient air pollution are measured separately as well as together in order to understand the impacts of air pollution in different parts of the world. Measuring against this indicator will help ensure that SDG implementation strategies bring about transformation impact for both health and the climate.

 

Unpaid work indicator under SDG 5 on gender and women’s empowerment:

Target

Indicator

Classification

  5.4   Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate

 

  Percentage of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work, by sex, age and location

  Green

 

Addressing unpaid work is an important step towards reducing the hours of drudgery that people, largely women and girls, spend collecting the natural resources that they depend on, including firewood. The Alliance and ENERGIA support the inclusion of this indicator and urge stakeholders to take comprehensive implementation action to ensure that development efforts reduce unpaid work and enable full participation in opportunities, notably through expanding energy access.

 

Clean cooking indicator under SDG7 on energy access:

Target

Indicator

Classification

  7.1   By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

  Percentage of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and technology

  Green

 

The Alliance and ENERGIA support the inclusion of this indicator and request adding “for cooking, heating, and lighting” to ensure further clarity. Close to half of the world’s population lives in energy poverty, severely impacting their way of life and opportunities, while also hampering economic growth, environmental sustainability, public health, and gender equality. Alternatively, improved access to clean, sustainable energy drives positive impacts in all of these areas. It is critical to measure both the full spectrum of household energy needs, not only electricity. The indicator will help depict the need for expanding energy access and will inform implementation efforts. The development of this indicator was led by WHO in a consensus-based process with widespread engagement.


Disaggregation

The Alliance and ENERGIA support the current level of disaggregation in the draft indicator framework and urge stakeholders to ensure that disaggregation remains included and a priority throughout measurement, follow up, and review. The draft document currently states that indicators “should be disaggregated, where relevant, by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability and geographic location, or other characteristics, in accordance with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.”

To fully explain the current status and rationale behind these indicators, we encourage you to read our updated position paper on the SDG indicators.

The Alliance and ENERGIA urge the Interagency Expert Group on SDG Indicators and the United Nations Statistical Commission to ensure the inclusion of these indicators. Additional stakeholders have shown their support of these recommendations by adding their logos to the position paper. If you are interested in adding your organization’s logo, please write to us at post-2015@cleancookstoves.org.