The use of open fires and traditional cookstoves and fuels is one of the world's most pressing health and environmental problems. Globally, three billion people rely on solid fuels to cook, causing serious environmental and health impacts that disproportionally affect women and children. According to the World Health Organization, household air pollution from cooking kills over 4 million people every year and sickens millions more.
Yet, safe, affordable, and accessible clean cooking solutions exist that can dramatically reduce fuel consumption and exposure to harmful cookstove smoke, while providing economic opportunities in communities around the world.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Alliance), hosted by the UN Foundation, is at the forefront of efforts to promote the adoption of clean cooking solutions and spur universal adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels. Launched in September 2010 by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative, the Alliance has an ambitious 10-year goal to foster the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in 100 million households by 2020. The Alliance and its partners are working to establish a thriving global market for clean cooking solutions by addressing the market barriers that impede the production, deployment, and use of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels in developing countries.
To tap the tremendous knowledge of the field, the Alliance convened 350 international experts from a cross-section of the clean cooking and related sectors to assess and address issues hindering the development of a thriving clean cookstoves and fuels markets at scale. The Alliance’s broad consultative process led to the development of a range of short- and long-term recommendations that formed the basis for a report entitled Igniting Change: A Strategy for Universal Adoption of Clean Cookstoves and Fuels, The strategy fostered a unified vision for the sector, while building a common sense of engagement among stakeholders regarding the most essential actions required for universal adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels. Igniting Change formed the basis for the Alliance’s Ten-Year Business Plan, and outlined a three-pronged approach for the creation of a dynamic market for clean cooking solutions by:
- Enhancing demand for clean cookstoves and fuels;
- Strengthening the supply of clean cookstoves and fuels; and
- Fostering the enabling environment for a thriving market for clean cooking solutions.
Significant progress was made during Phase I in achieving the Alliance’s original goals and objectives. To date, more than 20 million clean cookstoves are in use and global awareness has grown significantly regarding the serious health, environmental, and livelihoods issues posed by household air pollution. The Alliance is actively driving investment into the sector, supporting capacity building for entrepreneurs, enhancing testing and knowledge centers, and engaging in new research in dozens of countries where national policies are identifying clean cooking solutions as integral to achieving improvements in energy access, women and children’s health, and the environment. This is most evident in the Alliance’s eight focus countries of Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda where the Alliance has been instrumental in developing and shaping country action plans for further progress. The Alliance’s leadership has also been influential in the process to create the first-ever global standards for cookstove safety, efficiency, and cleanliness.
Finally, In addition to its efforts on the ground, the Alliance made strong progress during Phase I in integrating the issue of clean cooking as a means of achieving other critical development priorities -- health, energy, and environment -- by galvanizing major international organizations and initiatives, including the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Post-2015 Development Goals, and Beijing+20.