Radha’s Message for June 2015
Many of you likely already heard the news, but it deserves repeating — the Pope addressed the health impacts of cooking in the first section of his encyclical on climate and the environment. This was one of the many headlines that made June a month to remember.
Pope Francis' public declaration that people get sick from breathing high levels of smoke from fuels used in cooking and heating was a strong statement to global leaders on the need to address the dangerous way billions of people still cook. We look forward to continuing to work with the Vatican to make this issue a priority.
In June we also hit the six-month mark since the Cookstoves Future Summit, an unprecedented gathering of world leaders and global influencers to catalyze the market for clean cooking solutions. We thank those who have honored their financial commitments to support the clean cooking sector, and we are actively working with others to convert their pledges into action to support the sector, the Alliance secretariat and its many partners. We also urge others to follow through with their commitments, which are critical to ensuring we don't lose the momentum we’ve all worked so hard to put in motion.
As part of the US-China bilateral talks in Washington last week, efforts to strengthen China’s cookstove market got a boost as the Alliance formally added the All Women’s China Federation as a partner working to ensure 40 million households adopt cleaner and more efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. I joined U.S. Ambassador Cathy Russell and AWCF Vice-President Meng Xiaosi at the U.S. Department of State to sign a letter of intent for our work together on knowledge sharing, awareness raising, and integrating gender throughout China’s national stove pilot projects.
The Alliance continues to expand its work to demonstrate and evaluate the public health benefits of scaling up clean fuels. In Kenya, we joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Kenya Medical Research Institute, World LPG Association, and Global LPG Partnership to engage with fuel manufacturers and distributors from across Africa to share knowledge about affordable, transportable solutions that will help connect the hardest-to-reach consumers with practical cooking solutions that can improve their health.
In addition to our market development efforts the Alliance has been working to support the humanitarian community, which this month found there are more refugees globally – more than 59 million – than ever before. We are working very closely with the UN Refugee Agency and others within the SAFE initiative to ensure energy needs are considered in refugee settings, the right types of stoves and fuels are procured for each situation, and the capacity is built for all those who play a very important role in serving these populations. On June 20, we joined partners around the world to commemorate World Humanitarian Day. As part of our efforts, the Deputy High Commissioner of UNHCR Alexander Aleinikoff joined me to publish an op-ed in the Huffington Post on the need to increase refugee’s access to clean cookstoves and fuels.
As always, I am energized and excited by the incredible progress that together we are making in the sector. I hope it is the same for you!