Showing the diverse but sometimes similar opportunities and challenges faced in the sector around the world, three annual Clean Cooking Forums took place in December in India, Nigeria, and Latin America. Hundreds of attendees heard presentations and discussed progress on a wide range of topics from technological innovations to government policy to behavior change, among many others. Some of just a few of the key takeaways from each are below:
India’s clean cooking goals are ambitious, but that’s what we need.
Participants at this year’s Forum set a goal of replacing all traditional chullah stoves with improved cookstoves by 2020. The goal may seem ambitious, but ambitious goals, like Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious plans to connect 50 million Indian families to cooking gas over the next three years will lead to real progress.
Awareness building with government support is key.
LPG and induction usage continues to expand among the 240 million Indian households, but with two-thirds of the population still reliant on solid fuels for daily cooking, biomass usage continues to be an important part of the cooking sector. To achieve fuels adoption objectives in rural and low-income segments of the population, awareness building and behavior change with the support of the Government is essential.
A strong supply chain is central to success.
Building a strong supply chain to make improved cookstoves available “within an arm's reach of desire” is the need of the hour. Great strides have already been made with investments in distribution channels and infrastructure – but more investment is needed.
Participants agreed that a market-based approach to generate universal access to clean cooking technologies is the only way large scale adoption will be possible. With a market-based approach less investment will be necessary to monitor stove adoption.
Working with governments
It’s vital that the government works in coordination with the private sector, non-profits, and academia to achieve long lasting impacts in the region. Governments are key to generating policy that will increase access to technologies and create a favorable environment for the distribution and adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels.
Stove Testing and Monitoring
Standards need to be approved in all countries in the region to ensure effective technologies are prioritized. Stove testing can also support innovation and improvement in current technologies. More studies are required to establish if stoves with chimneys are equally effective in reducing HAP as LPG.
Nigerians voted in a new government on the promise of change
Increased access to modern energy services and security are central elements in President Mohammadu Buhari Administration's reform agenda because conveners believe that clean cooking energy for all is not only possible but a right for all Nigerians. With market expansion for new and renewable liquid biofuels gaining momentum, the time has come to bring change to the Nigerian kitchen.
The challenge of supply, demand, and regulations in terms of policy formulations needs urgent solution
The Ministry wanted the Forum to brainstorm solutions to the major barriers that exist in providing widespread, domestic LPG use. The Petroleum Ministry concluded by expressing their willingness to partner and collaborate with other federal government agencies, NGOs, and international organizations to help see that fuel wood usage is a thing of the past in Nigeria.
Enabling faster adoption of cleaner fuels and stoves in the country
High level government officials recognized the need to work together through partnerships within and outside the country to enable the free flow of resources and innovation into the sector to address key barriers such as: affordability, quality of cookstoves, consumer education through behavioral change and awareness campaigns (similar to successful past campaigns around HIV/Aids, Malaria, and Ebola), providing financial incentives toward the local production of cookstoves, policy regulation and the sustainable supply of clean cooking fuel.