Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Hillary Clinton calls cookstoves a "cross-cutting issue"

Update: The Guardian columnist Madeleine Bunting writes about Clinton and cookstoves: "Finally, this huge story is percolating through to the mainstream ... This is a problem that does not require expensive technology. It is about using fuel efficiently. Watch this video."

The video link is to Ashden award-winner Aprovecho.

Escorts Foundation - 2004 Ashden Award winner
The New York Times reports that later this morning Hillary Clinton will announce $50 million in seed money for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

Mrs. Clinton called the problem of indoor pollution from primitive cookstoves a “cross-cutting issue” that affects health, the environment and women’s status in much of the world.

The NYT says the Alliance has set itself the goal of providing 100 million clean-burning stoves to villages in Africa, Asia and South America by 2020.

Although the toxic smoke from the primitive stoves is one of the leading environmental causes of death and disease, and perhaps the second biggest contributor to global warming, after the industrial use of fossil fuels, it has long been neglected by governments and private aid organizations.

See also: Ashden Awards report Stoking up a cookstove revolution and Ashden award-winning stove projects: TWP/AHDESA, GERES Cambodia and Aprovecho/SSM.

More: Shell, UN to Back $100 Million Plan for Clean Energy Cookstoves
Ashden award-winner GERES Cambodia have sold their one millionth stove

Update: Anne Wheldon, Senior Adviser at the Ashden Awards, says:

This is something that need not cost much, but it has got to be done right, for the particular country and culture, and it must be what people who do the cooking actually want. I think Andrew Mitchell, the UK development minister, is arguing at the Millenium Development Goals conference for 'spend aid better' rather than 'spend more'. A lot can be achieved at a comparatively low cost provided that it is done in the right way.

pic: Escorts Foundation, Pakistan - Ashden winners 2004

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