What do the Global Goals Mean for Clean Cooking?
This month at the United Nations, 193 countries formally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, an ambitious set of 17 Global Goals designed to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. These Global Goals will spur collective action and guide development for the next 15 years.
So what does clean cooking mean for the Global Goals? The simple answer is that clean cooking will help bring about strong, tangible results across the SDGs. Scaling the adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels is imperative to ending energy poverty and reaching global energy goals. However, even beyond Goal 7 on energy, clean cooking will have immense impact.
The Global Goals shine a light on the importance of organizations like the Alliance and provide an opportunity to integrate clean cooking into development, health, environmental protection, and empowerment interventions as the new goals are implemented.
Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, this Agenda prioritizes sustainable energy as an objective in itself and an enabler to reaching all our shared goals. Particularly relevant for the clean cooking sector is Goal 7 of the Agenda: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” Reaching the Alliance’s target – 100 million households adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020 – would significantly contribute to the achievement of Goal 7 and the rest of the Agenda.
Household air pollution from cooking over smoky fires kills more than 4 million people every year and sickens millions more. Universal access to clean cooking solutions is essential to reducing global mortality and improving overall wellbeing, the aims outlined in Goal 3.
Without adequate cooking energy, women in particular will have difficulty fully participating in educational and income-generating opportunities. Reaching Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment requires reducing the amount of time that women and girls are spending collecting fuel and cooking so that they are able to go to school or pursue income-generating activities. Clean cooking will also help the world achieve Goal 4 on lifelong inclusive and equitable education, as more children will be able to attend school, instead of collecting fuel.
Inefficient and dangerous cooking practices lead to deforestation and environmental degradation, while also contributing up to 25% of global black carbon emissions. Spreading the use of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels will help the world reach its climate and environmental protection objectives, particularly those outlined in Goals 13, 14, and 15 of the Sustainable Development Agenda regarding action on climate change and protecting global ecosystems.
The indicator framework to measure the success of Agenda 2030 has not yet been finalized. The Alliance is actively working to ensure that cooking energy, and related issues, are accurately integrated into the framework. Working closely with our diverse partner base, we are supporting the inclusion of revised indicators under Goal 3 on health, Goal 5 on gender equality, and Goal 7 on energy. For details, see Getting Cooking Energy Right in the Post-2015 Indicators.
We are at a critically important milestone, and the adoption of the Global Goals is an exciting moment for the entire international community. We have set a course of ambition and collaboration together based on an understanding that sustainable development issues are interconnected and must be addressed holistically. Now is the time to plan for effective implementation of our shared objectives and apply proven approaches that have shown cross-cutting results, like clean cooking.