Radha’s Message for September 2016
Greetings from India!
It’s been truly inspiring to come directly from the UN General Assembly and the global-level discussions there around integrating clean cooking into SDG-achieving initiatives to witnessing first-hand the implementation of one of the largest cookstoves and fuels efforts in recent history.
Under India’s unprecedented program launched this year to connect 50M households to cooking gas, there is already a dynamic evolution of the country’s clean cooking sector beginning, as families and communities start to see the benefits of clean cooking. As part of my trip, I have been in talks with officials across government ministries and with major corporate partners working on energy, health, gender, and environmental issues on ways to ensure the continued success of these efforts, as well as how to better understand the viability of alternative fuels and stoves for those who may not be touched by the LPG initiative. The stakes couldn’t be higher, both here in India and around the world.
A new World Bank report released this month showed that cooking and household air pollution are costing the global economy more than US$2 trillion per year in labor income and welfare losses. The report's findings are further evidence that this global crisis must be addressed if we’re going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
We did hear some positive news from the G20 Leaders’ Summit that wrapped up this month in China. During the Summit, the G20 Leaders’ Communique was adopted, committing global leaders to enhancing collaborative and nationally-led efforts to support energy access, clean cooking, and policies that are particularly beneficial to entrepreneurs and small and medium sized enterprises, including those led by women. The Alliance will continue to advocate for women’s empowerment and clean cooking as a means of achieving global development and climate goals, as well as the high-level priorities of the G20.
In other positive news this month, four enterprises were awarded grants under the third round of the Alliance's Women's Empowerment Fund (WEF), which is designed to drive adoption of clean cooking solutions by increasing income-earning opportunities for women working in the sector. The WEF is part of the Alliance’s long-term strategy to address the key barriers to scaling women's empowerment and gender-informed approaches in the clean cooking sector.
As always, progress is continuing across the sector, and I thank you for your continued partnership and collaboration.