Today, Secretary Clinton announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a new public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions that will save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change.
Around the world, nearly 3 billion people use traditional cook stoves and open fires for heating and meal preparation, resulting in nearly 2 million premature deaths annually -- especially among women and children -- from diseases caused by exposure to smoke. The World Health Organization estimates cookstove smoke to be the fifth-worst overall health risk factor in developing countries. Reliance on biomass (e.g. wood, dung, coal) for cooking fuel and heating also forces women and children to spend many hours each week collecting these items. They face severe personal security risks as they collect this fuel, particularly in refugee camps, conflict zones, and other areas of instability. Additionally, inefficient, polluting cookstoves can contribute to climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and aerosols such as black carbon.
The U.S. Department of State, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), all of whom are founding partners of the Global Alliance, have forged an unprecedented government effort to mobilize financial resources, U.S. experts, and research and development tools to achieve a target of "100 by 20": 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. The initial U.S. financial commitment to the Alliance is $50.82 million over the next 5 years.
The United States is not alone in this effort. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves will work in cooperation with other leading international non-profit organizations, foundations, academic institutions, corporate leaders, governments, UN agencies, and local NGO's, women's self-help groups, and community members to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves in the developing world.
The video and transcript of the Secretary's remarks is available here.