ADDRESSING ONE OF THE DANGEROUS TIPPING POINTSFOR CLIMATE CHANGE
The Importance of healthy cook stoves, in the effort to prevent the climate system’s approach to the dangerous tipping point.
WASHINGTON – The World Bank released a report today entitled, Household Cookstoves, Environment, Health, and Climate Change: A New Look at an Old Problem. This report took stock of collective knowledge of actions and opportunities centered on clean stoves was issued by the World Bank today. The key lessons learned from campaigns to promote healthy cookstoves and the importance of building a multisectoral approach against unhealthy cook stoves were discussed in the report.
It’s hard to fathom, but a simple and ubiquitous task such as cooking can easily destroy a person’s life. Many in the developed world are not aware of this issue and would be taken aback if they become aware of some of the statistics associated with exposure to unhealthy cookstoves.
Several mitigation strategies have been introduced to battle the climate change crisis; however one of the most fascinating and effective strategies is the introduction of healthy cookstoves to poor communities. By eliminating the use of open fires for cooking and accompanying black carbon emissions, it is possible to reduce an estimated 0.5-1 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent gases in India alone.
Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that, 1.5 million deaths occur annually due to Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) in rural areas. This poses a huge health risk, contributing to lung and throat cancer, eye infections and low birth weights. Improving technology to produce healthy cookstoves can be beneficial to billions of people around the world and can help mitigate the risk of climate change and help improvehuman health, energy poverty and the global greenhouse gas problem.
New international alliances and initiatives are forming around the issue of promoting advanced and effective healthy improved biomass cookstoves and alleviating indoor air pollution. There are two recent alliances/initiatives: (i) the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), led by the United Nations Foundation and (ii) the Government of India’s re-launched program on improved cookstoves, which will award a prize in partnership with the global X PRIZE Foundation.
These initiatives enforce partnerships that aid in the development and deployment of the new generation of cookstoves at scale. This requires cooperation among a range of diverse stakeholders on energy access.