Climate Change: Tackling Black Carbon Emissions from Inefficient Cookstoves
Every day, almost three billion people in the world cook their food on open fires or traditional cookstoves. They burn solid fuels such as wood, crop residues, dung, coal, and charcoal, producing smoke that kills more than four million people annually and sickens millions more.
In addition to the enormous health toll, this cooking method carries an enormous environmental burden, it’s responsible for as much as 25% of black carbon emissions, the second-largest contributor to climate change.
Black carbon, seen as soot, is the unwanted byproduct of burning diesel, coal, firewood, or crop residue. Although categorized as a ‘short-lived’ climate pollutant, its deleterious impacts are both fast-acting and extensive. Black carbon accelerates warming because the fine particles absorb heat. It increases the melting of ice and glaciers, harms public health, reduces food security and disrupts weather patterns. Recent studies have shown that black carbon may be responsible for close to 20% of the earth’s warming. This provides us with a real opportunity to make an immediate impact on climate change.
In an effort to tackle black carbon emissions from inefficient cookstoves, the Alliance has partnered with the Gold Standard Foundation, The Energy and Research Institute (TERI), Nexleaf Analytics and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), with funding from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) as part of the ‘Reducing SLCPs from Household Cooking and Domestic Heating’ initiative, to develop a methodology for quantifying and monitoring emissions reductions and associated climate impacts from black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants. Certified by the Gold Standard Foundation, the new black carbon methodology will help drive finance into projects that provide an immediate and measurable impact on mitigating climate change at a local level.