Most of us know that what we eat impacts our health. But did you know that how people cook can be just as important?
We may not give much thought to our microwave, stove, or toaster. But in developing countries, nearly 3 billion people are dependent on food cooked over smoky fires that burn solid fuels like wood, dung, and coal. The smoke from these fires is responsible for the premature deaths of more than 10,000 people each day – most of them children and women – according to the World Health Organization. Cooking this way also causes widespread deforestation and is a significant contributor to climate change.
In 2015, the global community has an opportunity to save lives and protect the environment by improving access to clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels for the millions of families living without it. We need you to help us ensure leaders continue prioritizing this issue.
Cookstoves come in many different varieties—from rocket stoves that burn fuels far more efficiently to solar stoves that cook with power from the sun. There’s even a stove that can charge a cell phone or power a light, enabling communication and educational opportunities. And delivering access to clean fuels like electricity, gas, biogas, and ethanol can have huge impacts on cooking-related emissions, improving health and air quality, and saving lives in the process.
Global leaders have committed to helping reduce the number of people without access to clean cooking technologies and fuels. But more action is needed, and those who are helping, including leaders in the UK, US, and Norway, need to hear from you about the need to continue their commitments to transforming lives through clean cooking.
Take action now by telling world leaders that you support their efforts to expand access to clean cookstoves and fuels.
The world needs leaders to continue to make good on their commitments to achieving universal access to clean cooking technologies. The future of 3 billion people and our shared climate are depending on their action.
This piece was written by Kip Patrick, Director of Global Communications, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the United Nations Foundation.