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Global Alliance Highlights Climate Change Mitigation Benefits of Clean Cookstoves

October 2012: The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has prepared a factsheet that identifies a positive correlation between the use of clean cookstoves and climate change mitigation, highlighting that, if well designed, clean cookstoves can reduce emissions associated with cooking with biomass.

In a fact-sheet titled "Clean Cookstoves and Climate Change," the Alliance notes that close to three billion people around the world use coal or wood to cook, highlighting the related security, environmental and health risks associated with the search for, and use of biomass. It further emphasizes that the energy inefficiency of biomass as a source of fuel, stressing that it releases toxic pollutants, including black carbon and methane, which contribute to climate change. The fact-sheet estimates that black carbon contributes the equivalent of 25-50% of carbon dioxide warming globally, while methane emissions are ranked second highest.

It describes other benefits due to the reduced emissions as a result of using clean cookstoves, including reduced indoor and outdoor pollution, reduced pressure on forests, and monetary and time savings due to the decreasing need to search for, or buy costly fuels. It also notes that as both black carbon, and methane have short life spans, the effect of their reduction on the environment would be tremendous, bringing about a “more rapid climate response than reductions in carbon dioxide alone.”

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership led by the UN Foundation that seeks to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. Alliance partners include UN Woman, the World Bank Group, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), UN Energy, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), UN-Habitat, the World Health Organization (WHO), The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the World Food Programme (WFP). [Publication: Clean Cookstoves and Climate Change]