Cooking claims lives in many parts of the world. More than four million people die every year from air pollution caused by cooking, heating and the use of paraffin lamps. Women and young children in rural communities top the statistics. ‘Norway will provide 40 mill USD over the next four years to the global effort to promote clean cooking,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
Soot from cooking over open fires with coal, wood, charcoal or other solid fuels is the main cause of indoor pollution. Worldwide, 2.8 billion people still cook their food in this way.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende, together with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, hosted the Cookstoves Future Summit in New York last week. The summit was arranged by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which was launched by Ms Clinton four years ago.
Hillary Clinton and Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende at the Cookstoves Future Summit in New York. (Photo: Astrid Versto, MFA)
The aim is to mobilise sufficient resources to provide at least100 million clean cookstoves by 2020.
‘Air pollution is a huge health problem, but we know how to reduce the number of people who die as a result of it. The technology is readily available, and putting it to use has an immediate effect. I am pleased that Norway is taking part in this global mobilisation effort to provide clean cookstoves in poor countries,’ said Mr Brende.
Providing more clean cookstoves will have several positive effects: not only will it save lives and improve health; it will also reduce deforestation, as it will reduce the need for wood and charcoal. In addition, women and children will spend less time fetching wood, and their security situation will improve.
‘This effort will also be beneficial for the climate, due to reduced deforestation, through more efficient use of fuel, and lower emissions of soot – or black carbon – which is an important climate forcer,’ said Mr Brende.
Norway will provide 2 mill. USD to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves this year, and will then enter into close cooperation with the Alliance to ensure that the Norwegian funding is channelled to organisations and projects that achieve the best results.