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New report tracks global progress toward universal access to clean cooking

A new report released by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves highlights the continuing progress toward achieving universal adoption of clean cooking by 2030. The Alliance’s 2017 Progress Report estimates that a total of 30.8 million clean and/or efficient cookstoves and fuel were distributed in 2016, bringing the total from 2010-2016 to more than 80 million.

According to Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves 2017 Progress Report, 2016 saw continued investment in clean cooking with both private sector and government-led programmes, highlighted by India’s unprecedented campaign to connect 80 million households to clean cooking gas by 2020.

However, more than three billion people still depend on open fires and heavily-polluting fuels for cooking. The impacts of household air pollution are dramatic and far-reaching, causing over 2.6 million premature deaths each year. Cooking with solid fuels also has significant impacts on air quality, climate, and forests, while impeding economic growth and women’s empowerment.

Just a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine the tremendous progress being made across the clean cooking sector. Challenges remain, certainly, but we’ve come a long way. Now is the time to accelerate market development with greater grants and investment as we set our sights on universal adoption by the year 2030, said Alliance CEO Radha Muthiah.

New capital raised by clean cookstove manufacturers like Burn, BioLite, Envirofit, and Greenway, as well as innovative fuel-based enterprises such as Inyenyeri, PayGo Energy, and KOKO Networks, shows the increased confidence of funders and investors in the sector. In addition, a host of new actors — including CARE, Save the Children, WWF, and the World Resources Institute (WRI) — are either launching or expanding their focus on clean cooking and household air pollution.

First test of the BioLite II camp stove arguably the world's smallest portable biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) unit.

The BioLite II camp stove is arguably the world’s smallest portable biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) unit.

To help drive consumer demand, the Alliance launched a series of behaviour change campaigns in 2016. As part of the campaigns over 15 million people in Bangladesh received government-sponsored messages promoting clean cooking, a fictional mother is inspiring women to switch to clean cooking in Nigeria, and a top-rated clean cooking television show in Kenya, Shamba Chef, is drawing 3 million viewers per week.

However, despite much progress, a sobering report from Sustainable Energy for All showed a multi-billion dollar investment gap for what’s needed to fund clean cooking. Without new resources, there’s little chance of meeting the clean cooking targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve come a long way. We’re making real progress. Let’s put our feet on the accelerator to drive the sector and market forward, said Muthiah.

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