Radha’s Message for October 2015
With less than two weeks until the Clean Cooking Forum 2015, it’s an exciting time at the Alliance and around our sector. Under the theme of “Accelerating Markets. Scaling Solutions,” the bi-annual Forum is taking place in Accra, Ghana from Nov 10-13 and will include four-days of informative sessions, plenaries, networking, site visits, cultural performances, and clean cooking demonstrations. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
While the global Forum in Ghana will be a major focus in November, one of the highlights of October was the regional India Clean Cooking Forum (ICCF), a two-day event whose significance continues to grow. Held in New Delhi, ICCF featured a diverse and growing base of partners and included broad engagement from multiple Indian ministries, evidence of the need to engage a broad swath of government to address this issue. It was also significant in that there were rich discussions of the challenges and opportunities in scaling up the production, distribution, awareness and adoption of multiple types of fuels and cookstoves. That week I was pleased to join more than a dozen CEOs of leading international and Indian NGOs working in or considering engaging with the sector.
It was also a pleasure this month to be a part of the Shell Foundation’s 15-year anniversary. The Foundation, a long-time supporter of the energy access sector, shared lessons they have learned over the years on how to increase access to energy and shared a framework of how their work might change an evolve in the coming years. Envirofit, a long-time Shell Foundation partner, also highlighted past experiences and progress as they celebrated selling their one millionth cookstove. The Alliance congratulates them on hitting this major milestone!
As part of the Alliance’s work encouraging global leaders to prioritize access to household energy and to cleaner and efficient cookstoves and fuels, I was pleased to see the G20 Energy Ministers had discussed clean cooking and highlighted the issue in the Communiqué that came out of their recent meetings in Istanbul. As part of our work and the growing importance of this issue of clean cooking, we were asked to submit an article to be included in the G20 Heads of State Briefing Book to prepare leaders for their meeting next month in Turkey. We will continue to advocate for prioritization of energy access and clean cookstoves and fuels, with concrete action items that G20 leaders can take on as discussions continue under Chinese leadership in 2016.
Finally, as we look ahead to the COP21 climate meetings in Paris in December, it was great to see a new report from the WHO highlighting clean cookstoves as one of four ways to reduce health risks from climate pollutants. As WHO director Maria Neira said, “The health benefits that may be obtained from these strategies are far larger than previously understood, and they can be enjoyed immediately and locally.”
I leave you with a final reminder about next month’s Clean Cooking Forum 2015 in Ghana – I hope to see you there!