Climate Change

Millions at Risk from Harmful Cooking Practices, with Africa Facing a Growing Crisis

Main image to the post Millions at Risk from Harmful Cooking Practices, with Africa Facing a Growing Crisis

The Urgent Need for Clean Cooking Solutions

2.3 billion people in 128 countries breathe in dangerous fumes from basic stoves and open fires.

This reliance on polluting fuels has dire consequences. The report estimates that 3.7 million people die prematurely each year due to these practices, with children and women bearing the brunt of the burden. The fumes released during cooking pollute both indoor and outdoor air, leading to respiratory and cardiovascular problems, including cancer and strokes.

Furthermore, these practices trap women and children in a cycle of poverty. They spend countless hours searching for fuel, limiting their access to education and income-generating opportunities. The IEA estimates that switching to clean cooking methods like LPG or electric stoves could save 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030, equivalent to the emissions from ships and planes in 2022.

While some progress has been made in Asia, particularly in China, India, and Indonesia, the situation in Africa remains dire. Four out of five households in sub-Saharan Africa still rely on highly polluting fuels, and the situation is worsening due to population growth outpacing progress.

The IEA estimates that $8 billion is needed annually worldwide to address this issue, less than 1% of government spending on energy measures in 2022. Of this, $4 billion is specifically needed for sub-Saharan Africa. While current global investment in clean cooking stands at $2.5 billion, a significant increase is crucial.

Investing in clean cooking solutions is not just a matter of health and environmental protection; it's an investment in human development. By providing access to clean cooking technologies, we can empower women and children, improve health outcomes, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09