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publication September 24, 2020

The State of Access to Modern Energy Cooking Services

World Bank Group



Story highlights

  • Progress towards ensuring access to modern cooking solutions, a key component to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), has been slow. Today, 2.8 billion people globally still cook with traditional polluting fuels and technologies, costing the world more than $2.4 trillion each year, driven by adverse impacts on health ($1.4 trillion), climate ($0.2 trillion), and women ($0.8 trillion from lost productivity).
  • Solutions to tackle this pressing development challenge must prioritize user preferences and local cooking contexts to address longstanding barriers to the adoption of modern cooking solutions.
  • The report finds that four billion people around the world still lack access to clean, efficient, convenient, safe, reliable, and affordable cooking energy. To achieve universal access to modern energy cooking services (MECS) by 2030, it calls for actions to prioritize MECS access in global and national arenas, formalize cooking energy demand in national energy planning, and dramatically scale up public and private financing.

The State of Access to Modern Energy Cooking Services report finds that While around 1.25 billion are considered in transition with access to improved cooking services, the other 2.75 billion face significantly higher access barriers.

Using an expanded methodology to provide a more comprehensive measurement of household energy access and cooking solutions, the report finds that

The report builds on the World Bank’s established Multi-Tier Framework (MTF) to provide an in-depth, comprehensive understanding of household cooking-energy needs to inform strategies for adoption of modern energy cooking solutions. The MTF for cooking is a multidimensional, tiered approach to measuring household access to cooking solutions across six technical and contextual attributes—convenience, affordability, safety, fuel availability, exposure, and efficiency, ranging from Tier 0 (no access) to Tier 5 (full access). A household is considered to have access to modern energy cooking services (MECS) when their cooking practices meet the MTF Tier 4 or above. A household whose cooking practices meet MTF Tier 2 or 3 is considered as being in transition with access to improved cooking services.

including $39 billion from the public sector to ensure that modern cooking solutions can be afforded by the poorest and; $11 billion by the private sector to install downstream infrastructure for the functioning of modern energy cooking markets. The remaining $103 billion comes from household purchases of stoves and fuels. Reaching universal access to improved cooking services by 2030 requires $10 billion per year, including $6 billion from the public sector to fill the affordability gap and the rest by households.

As countries and their partners in the public and private sectors work to scale up efforts to reach universal access to modern energy cooking services, the report provides three key recommendations:

  • The first calls for the creation of high-profile coalitions of political leaders to prioritize access to modern energy cooking services in global and national arenas;
  • the second calls for the formalization of cooking energy demand in national energy planning and development of strategies for achieving universal access that reflect diverse users’ needs, local market conditions, and national comparative advantages on energy resources;
  • and the third recommendation calls for a dramatic increase in funding focused on modern energy cooking services that moves from the tens and hundreds of millions to the tens of billions.