Radha’s Message for October 2016
I recently returned from London where we had our annual joint meeting of the Alliance Leadership and Advisory Councils. We reviewed trends in the sector, highlights and challenges during the year, and likely areas of focus for the Alliance secretariat moving forward. We also discussed news that Leadership Council member António Guterres has been selected as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr. Guterres, the former head of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has been a driving force for increasing access to energy and to cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels for the nearly 60 million people displaced from their countries. We look forward to continuing to support the work of the UN, across its agencies, with Mr. Guterres’ new role at the helm.
This past month also provided an opportunity for Leadership Council members Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Hanna Tetteh, Ghana Minister of Foreign Affairs, to work together on clean cooking in Ghana. As part of their efforts, McCarthy and Tetteh visited local cookstoves programs and met with a group of young women, the Ghana Girl Guides, working in their communities to encourage the use of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels.
Continuing our work to integrate women into the cookstoves and fuels supply chain and to support female entrepreneurs, the Alliance launched the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award. We are still accepting applications and I encourage you to either apply yourself if you qualify or spread the word to others who might.
Looking ahead, we expect several Alliance partners to actively engage in COP22 kicking off soon in Marrakesh. As the Paris Agreement on Climate takes effect on Nov 4, it’s an exciting time to focus on the climate impacts of cooking. Thanks in part to efforts of the Alliance and numerous partners, more than 50 countries have included clean cooking in their national climate plans. We continue to work together to ensure that household air pollution remains a priority for both addressing air pollution as well as for mitigating climate change.