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The use of traditional cookstoves, heatstoves, solid fuels and kerosene lamps by almost three billion people has a serious and negative impact on the global environment, as well as the health of millions.
The Coalition’s Household Energy Initiative works to speed and scale-up the reduction of short-lived climate pollutant emissions from these sectors globally, alongside reductions of long-lived greenhouse gases, in order to mitigate climate change, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment and human health in the near-term and the long-term.
Residential cooking, domestic heating, and lamps account for up to 58% of global black carbon emissions and contribute a significant share of ambient air pollution in the developing world. In 2016, approximately 2.6 million people in the developing world died prematurely from exposure to household air pollution. Additionally, each year, tens of millions are sickened, injured or burned as a result of using biomass as fuel.
Collection of fuel wood for cooking and heating contributes to forest degradation, land use changes, and climate change. Women and children spend more time indoors compared to men, and they experience a disproportionate share of the health impacts from the use of kerosene for lighting. Because they spend more time indoors, women and children are also more vulnerable to high exposures of household air pollution and to the risk of kerosene cooking and lighting explosions. In addition to the direct health impacts from the use of traditional cookstoves, heatstoves, and open fires, women and girls who must collect biomass fuel far from the safety of their homes are at high risk of gender violence and physical injury and are negatively impacted by the loss of economic productivity and educational opportunities from time spent gathering biomass for their families.
The scope and severity of impacts from cookstoves, heatstoves, and kerosene lamps on the health and environment of nearly half of the world’s population necessitate an immediate and concerted response from the global research, policy, and donor communities. Wide-scale adoption of clean/low-emission and efficient cookstoves, heatstoves, and fuels and off-grid lighting can mitigate climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from non-sustainable harvesting of biomass, and by lowering emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as methane, carbon monoxide, black carbon. Global adoption of clean/low-emission household energy solutions would also reduce air pollution, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and help slow forest degradation.
While there are several high-profile initiatives to address the use of traditional cookstoves, heatstoves, and open fires, none have a truly integrated “household” approach and specific focus on reducing short-lived climate pollutant emissions from household energy. The Coalition’s work on domestic heating, cooking, and lighting as a significant contributor to global climate change is an important step in reducing pollutant emissions that will help address gaps in the climate mitigation efforts and effectiveness of other international, regional, and national clean/low-emission cooking, heating and lighting initiatives.
The Coalition has a unique opportunity to raise the visibility of the role that household clean/low-emission energy solutions can play in climate mitigation and air quality improvement efforts. The Coalition mobilizes government and non-governmental partners around concerted action to address the gaps in climate mitigation benefits from more broadly-focused international initiatives.
The Household Energy Initiative aims to play a critical role in:
Activities are implemented globally, but with a focus on developing countries and high northern latitude/mountain countries, where the use of solid fuels for heating is common. A strong preference is given to addressing the clean/low-emission household energy solution needs of Coalition partner countries that will lead to short-lived climate pollutant emissions reductions.
The impacts of short-lived climate pollutant emissions differ by region and therefore efforts to scale up adoption of clean/low-emission cooking, heating, and lighting solutions target regions where the climate benefits will be greatest. Such areas include those where aerosols have a direct effect on precipitation and monsoons, and those with close proximity to snow- and ice-covered regions where the emissions of black carbon have a strong potential warming effect.
The initiative focuses on four key components designed to leverage the ongoing research and market mobilization activities of co-leads and other Coalition partners, specifically:
The Initiative engages a broad range of key government representatives, researchers, non-governmental organizations, standard-setting organizations, and other stakeholders to garner input on the Initiative, as well as secure participation in the development and execution of work plans and activities, to ensure:
In this work, the Initiative draws on key stakeholders working to promote the adoption of clean/low-emission cookstoves, heatstoves, and off-grid lighting and related fuels -- including many drawn from the 1700+ partners of the Clean Cooking Alliance’s’ broad global network, the ADB’s Clean Cooking Initiative, World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Lighting Global and the World Bank’s Africa Clean Cooking Energy Solutions Initiative.
The Gold Standard Foundation, with funding from the CCAC, has completed a market assessment to identify potential institutions willing to pay for climate, health and gender impacts of clean cooking projects.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, under the initiative, has provided recommendations for standards and labels for cookstoves in Ghana and Uganda and is developing standards and labelling implementation strategies in Guatemala, Kenya, and Nigeria. A first of its kind Consumer Study on labelling in Ghana was conducted and will be used to guide Ghanaian policymakers on how to design a cookstove label that’s effective in conveying relevant performance information to consumers, so that they can make more-informed purchase decisions.
The International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) has published the first testing protocol for black carbon emissions from wood fuelled heat stoves. Called the Protocol for Measuring Emissions of Black Carbon and Organic Carbon from Residential Wood Burning, it has been beta-tested in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the Czech Republic.
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Lead Partner: A Coalition partner with an active role in coordinating, monitoring and guiding the work of an initiative.
Implementer: A Coalition partner or actor receiving Coalition funds to implement an activity or initiative.
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