Radha’s Message for February 2015
Greetings from India, where we are working on an agreement with the Indian government to increase awareness and drive adoption of more efficient and cleaner stoves and fuels. This partnership would mark a significant step in addressing the country’s growing air pollution crisis. The pollution issue has made international headlines recently and has become a major topic of discussion across the country, including with policymakers in Delhi, where there is increasing interest in both understanding the connection between indoor and outdoor air pollution and taking the action necessary to address it.
Talking with the private sector, I’ve been encouraged by the growing awareness among business leaders and their willingness to build partnerships that broaden their engagement directly, while indirectly helping to spread the word about the clean cooking issue and leveraging their distribution channels, as well.
One topic of particular interest has been exploring the vast market for both cleaner stoves and fuels, which include LPG and electricity, as well as the need for more efficient bio mass stoves. We were at the Dharavi slum this week in Mumbai – one of the largest in Asia with about 1m inhabitants. Because this community is economically active, it’s a critical time to engage residents, and it was encouraging to see how the vast majority were using LPG stoves and induction cookers for efficiency and safety reasons. Many commented on how they had cooked traditionally in other parts of the country before they emigrated to Mumbai, but added how the new method was much faster and a smoke free, healthier way to cook. Their 100 sq ft homes now come equipped with space for an LPG cylinder, and since all have access to electricity, many talked about using induction stoves as well, which many of the women were happy to admit allowed them to cook faster. Yes, there is stacking going on, but this type is of the “cleaner” kind!
And speaking of women, on March 8, the world will commemorate International Women’s Day. To celebrate, the Alliance is leading events and activities around the world, including in our focus countries in Asia, Africa and Central America, as well as at a high-level meeting in New York on March 12. There, we will be joined by leaders in government, business and development to address the critical role energy plays in driving gender equality. It’s a great opportunity to highlight the need to include energy access and clean cooking as a key part of the Post 2015 Development Agenda. It’s also a chance to recognize the millions of women and girls living in energy poverty, who constantly risk their lives to cook for their families. We would also like to celebrate women and girls’ contributions, including their crucial role in managing household energy and assisting in the widespread adoption of cleaner energy solutions.
As always, I thank for your continued support, and I encourage you to join us in celebrating International Women’s Day next month.