International Project Hopes to Build a Better Cookstove

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson joined Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and a number of partners this week to announce the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

The public-private alliance addresses one of the greatest threats facing developing countries and their populations — extraordinarily high exposures to toxic smoke from indoor fires and inefficient cookstoves that lead to nearly 2 million deaths each year, primarily in young children and women. The U.S. government pledged $53.32 million over the next five years to support the initiative, with EPA contributing $6 million.

“EPA is proud to partner with the State Department, our administration colleagues, the United Nations Foundation, and the other alliance partners to address one of the greatest environmental health risks facing the international community today. EPA will invest $6 million over the next five years to enhance efforts at stove testing and evaluation, cookstove design innovation and assessments of health benefits,” said Jackson. "For more than eight years, EPA has been a leader in this field, and we will bring our expertise, our lessons learned and our global network to launching and leading the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves."

Led by the United Nations Foundation, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves aims to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The alliance’s goal is to create the market and distribution conditions necessary for 100 million households to adopt clean cookstoves by 2020.

About half of the world’s population – 3 billion people – relies on indoor fires and inefficient cookstoves to prepare daily meals, causing severe health, economic, and environmental consequences. Each year the effects of indoor smoke from wood and other basic fuels kill as many people as HIV/AIDS, significantly more people than tuberculosis, and over two times more people than malaria. Cleaner cooking practices also will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and black carbon, which contribute to climate change.

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