Friday, 13 November 2009

Stoves can help save the planet

Svati Bhogle, Managing Director, Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE), India

So far India’s media coverage on Copenhagen is all about dissent, discontent and dissonance when it should be about collective resolve and action on climate change.

Copenhagen is about reducing emissions globally but it is also about equitable and efficient use of energy. We require more sustainable use of energy as opposed to today’s abuse in the developed world and misuse in the developing world.

Two billion people - mostly in the developing world – still depend on traditional fuels like wood and charcoal for their cooking and heating. Each day they consume something like 1.2 million tons of biomass for cooking. With fuel efficient stoves these families can cut their energy use in half. They can also avoid the terrible toll of black smoke from inefficient stoves that literally choke the lives of so many women and children.

My organisation, TIDE helps some of the eight million small businesses in South India by providing improved woodstoves and kilns that burn biomass more efficiently and save at least 30 percent of fuel. We're saving well over 40,000 tonnes of wood each year and giving more than 150,000 workers a better, healthier and safer environment to work in as a result.

So let’s hope the leaders at Copenhagen will get behind simple and affordable solutions like these and steer away from the gloom and doom that can paralyze people from acting. We have the opportunity to make life cleaner, healthier and better for billions in the developing world – and at the same time improve our chances of tackling climate change.

Read more Voices on Copenhagen

TIDE received the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy’s “Energy Champion” award in 2008. TIDE develops woodstoves and kilns for small businesses across Southern India to burn biomass fuel more efficiently.

View the Ashden Awards video of TIDE:

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