Greater efforts are needed if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This was the sobering conclusion of the UN’s SDG progress report released this month as part of the annual High-Level Political Forum. In the report and at the HLPF in New York, we heard what many of us know all too well: household and ambient air pollution are the greatest environmental health risks; women can’t reach their fullest potential while spending triple the amount of time on unpaid duties such as cooking and fuel gathering as men; and more must be done to promote clean cooking’s benefits and encourage increased investment and financing across the sector.
Despite the report’s assessment, I left New York energized. Challenges remain ahead, but a shift has taken place around clean cooking. Addressing this issue has become a “must do” on the global priority list. We’re no longer a periphery issue pushed only by those of us in the cookstoves and fuels community. Leaders and advocates working on global health, women’s empowerment, climate, and the environment see clean cooking as critical to achieving their own goals. The mainstreaming of clean cooking beyond traditional actors will be a major focus for this year’s Clean Cooking Forum in October in India, and I encourage you to join the discussions to see how we can continue working together to deliver impact across a wide range of development issues.
I also close with a sincere thank you to all of you who have already shared your 2016 distribution results with us. This data we compile each year is the main mechanism the Alliance uses to track self-reported progress and growth in the cookstoves and fuels sector. For those who haven't already submitted your information, I invite you to visit the survey online as soon as possible before the deadline closes next month.
Our work continues,