World Bank urges better cookstoves in developing states to curb deaths
(Reuters) – (Release at 2301 GMT, Sunday Nov 3) Simple measures to reduce pollution from cooking stoves in developing nations could save a million lives a year and help slow global warming, a World Bank study showed on Monday.
Tighter restrictions on diesel emissions, for instance from car exhausts, could also avert 340,000 premature deaths annually by reining in soot and other heat-trapping pollutants that are also stoking climate change, it said.
The study called for tough limits on pollution from methane and soot, which can settle on snow and ice and hasten a thaw by darkening the surface, in everything from cooking and heating to mining and flaring by the oil and gas industry.
“The damage from indoor cooking smoke alone is horrendous – every year, four million people die from exposure to the smoke,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement of the study “on Thin Ice: How Cutting Pollution can Slow Warming and Save Lives.”
Many people in developing nations cook on open fires with wood or coal, exposing people – mainly women and children – to fumes that cause everything from respiratory problems to heart disease.
“If more clean cook-stoves – stoves that use less or cleaner fuel – would be used it could save one million lives,” the report said of the annual benefits.