Two weeks before Super Tuesday, when Bill Clinton made case for his wife’s candidacy, he praised the Clinton Foundation’s and particularly Mrs. Clinton’s efforts in promoting clean cookstoves in Sub-Saharan Africa, as one her many policy accomplishments. Indeed it was Hillary Clinton, back in 2010 as a Secretary of State who announced the launching of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a new public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation (UNF), adding that “clean stoves could be as transformative as bed nets or vaccines.” A year later she made an appearance in an interview with the Alliance’s other goodwill ambassador, actress Julia Roberts on Oprah Winsfrey Network to focus attention on the issue for a wider audience in the US. In her book, Hard Choices published in 2014, she gave the issue an even higher visibility and explained the reasons that made her to take action on this “deeply troubling and consequential challenge”. She pointed out that according to the World Health Organization, smoke from dirty stoves and fires kills almost 2 million people each year, most of them women and children. It kills more than twice as many people as malaria, she noted. As a mother herself, she called women worldwide to support hers and the Alliance’s efforts to reach 100 million households by 2020 to promote clean and healthy cooking environment. Although the 2016 presidential election is still a long way off, after this week’s Super Tuesday it worth to keep an eye on Mrs. Clinton who might take the support for the cause of clean cookstoves to an even higher level.
Part of the co2balance team spent today attending the National Clean Cookstoves and Fuel Conference in Nairobi, Kenya hosted by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The Alliance’s goal is to catalyze the adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by households through a market-based approach that will achieve the following objectives:
- Reduce household air pollution
- Reduce environmental degradation
- Empower women and improve livelihoods
The meeting kicked off with presentations from the US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec as well as representatives from the United Nations and the Kenyan Government. These were proceeded by informative talks ranging from the recent Customer Segmentation Study conducted by co2balance to clean cookstove standards, distribution models and financing options.
It is safe to say that after a full day of talks all the delegates, including co2balance, left with a lot to think about and a renewed sense of purpose to achieve the target of 7 million households in Kenya using improved cookstoves by 2020.