New Partnership to Help Bring Clean Cooking to 100 Million Households by 2020

November 21, 2014


NEW YORK CITY, November 21, 2014 - A major new partnership between the World Bank Group and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves will work to spur a transition to clean cooking for 100 million households, which still use inefficient cookstoves and solid fuels for cooking.

The new, five-year Efficient Clean Cooking and Heating Partnership was announced today at the Cookstoves Future Summit in New York – a gathering of leaders from across the international community focused on new efforts to speed up the adoption of clean cooking and end household air pollution from traditional cooking, which takes 4.3 million lives a year in developing countries.  The partnership will support in-country programs undertaken by both the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (the Alliance) and the World Bank Group, and will be managed by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).

“This new initiative builds on years of learning and experience by the World Bank Group, the Alliance, and our partners,” said Anita George, Senior Director of the World Bank’s Energy and Extractives Global Practice. “We will focus our efforts and resources on the tough issues: improved technology, better affordability, supply chain development, and consumer behavior.” 

Globally, 3.1 billion people use inefficient cookstoves and traditional biomass fuels for cooking. Besides the burden of disease from air pollution, traditional cooking also comes at a high economic cost for developing countries, including household spending on poor-quality fuel and time lost to fuel collection. Efforts to change this picture have often been hampered by weak markets and distribution systems for improved stoves and fuels, as well as a lack of uptake by consumers. 

The new partnership – for which the World Bank commits to mobilize $60 million – is designed to support the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstove’s stated goal of 100 million households adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020, as well as the global Sustainable Energy for All goal of universal access to modern energy services by 2030. 

Work will be undertaken at three levels: 1) in countries, through improved national policies, standards and testing for cleaner cooking technologies; 2) in the supply chain, providing technical know-how for manufacturers and distributors; and 3) among consumers, through awareness-raising and education about the benefits of clean cooking.  New remote data-gathering technologies will be used to highlight which of the range of clean cooking technologies are most popular and will help ensure programs are continually monitored and improved as needed.

 “This partnership formalizes the ongoing collaboration that has been underway for some time between the World Bank and the Alliance, and affirms the importance of the market-based approach,” said Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.  “Our work together will support the growth of entrepreneurs in the sector, scale up the availability of cleaner cookstoves and fuels, and further the development of standards and testing procedures to provide more certainty to donors, investors, and consumers alike.”

A key role in the partnership will be undertaken by IFC (International Finance Corporation), a member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector. IFC will create and support investment and project development vehicles that can catalyze the sector and bring in greater private sector involvement in this space.

In the initial stage, the partnership will support activities in 12 countries where the World Bank Group and the Alliance are active in clean cooking programs, including the eight Alliance focus countries – Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, India, Nigeria, and Uganda.

The Alliance, launched in 2010, has over 1000 partners around the world, including national governments, civil society, academia, UN agencies, investors, and private sector companies. Its accomplishments include ground-breaking research to build the evidence base for clean cooking’s impacts on health, environment, gender, and livelihoods; and work with governments in key countries to drive national policies and identify cost-effective clean cooking programs to achieve improvements in access, health, and the environment.

The World Bank Group has over 20 years of experience in working to scale up clean cooking in client countries, with on-going engagements in East Asia, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America.  These include the Africa Clean Cooking Energy Solutions program, the East Asia and Pacific Clean Stove Initiative, and the Central America Clean Cooking Initiative.

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