New U.S. Legislation Aims to Expand Access to Clean Cooking Globally
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2023 — Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the Clean Cooking Support Act. The bipartisan bill would improve global health and reduce climate-harming emissions by helping people in low- and middle-income countries gain access to cleaner-burning fuels and stoves for cooking.
Currently, some 2.3 billion people — nearly a third of the world’s population — rely on open fires or heavily-polluting stoves and fuels to cook their meals. The resulting air pollution, which is at similar levels to the global aviation and shipping industries, contributes to 3.2 million premature deaths every year and costs the world more than US $2.4 trillion in economic impact. Helping people switch to more modern stoves and fuels such as electricity, solar power, gas, and biofuels can improve health, environmental sustainability, and the climate, among other benefits.
With support from a broad coalition of businesses, research institutions, and advocacy organizations, the bill would accelerate clean cooking financing, research, market development, technological standards, and support to countries’ carbon emissions reductions plans. The bill would also create a much-needed Interagency Working Group, chaired by the offices of the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, to work with organizations including the Clean Cooking Alliance to increase global access to clean cooking fuels and technologies.
“Our bill aims to address a serious global public health and environmental issue where leadership by the United States can make a real difference. It would directly benefit some of the world’s poorest people, including the women and girls who are disproportionately affected, and reduce harmful pollution that affects us all,” said Senator Susan Collins. “I urge my colleagues to join me and Senator Durbin in supporting the Clean Cooking Support Act.”
“Emissions from combustion-based cooking appliances can cause lung cancer, exacerbate respiratory diseases, lead to heart attacks and strokes, and even cause premature death,” said Harold Wimmer, President & CEO of the American Lung Association, in a press release from Senator Collins. “Transitioning to cleaner forms of cooking will have immediate health benefits, particularly for women and children who often bear the brunt of this pollution exposure globally.”
Between 2010 and 2021, more than a billion people gained access to clean cooking, which represents significant progress considering the multi-billion-dollar funding shortfall for addressing this global crisis. However, much more needs to be done to reach universal access to clean cooking. Without urgent action to accelerate progress and investment, nearly 2 billion people will still rely on polluting, inefficient stoves and fuels in 2030, with the access gap in sub-Saharan Africa being particularly acute.
“We cannot reach our shared development and climate goals without addressing access to clean energy for cooking,” said Dymphna van der Lans, Chief Executive Officer of the Clean Cooking Alliance. “It is one of the most under-invested environmental health challenges and, unless we make meaningful changes, some 1.9 billion people will still be without access to clean cooking in 2030. I am grateful to Senator Collins and Senator Durbin for taking action on this critical issue. This legislation is an important step toward improving the health of millions and helping to right a climate and energy injustice.”
The Clean Cooking Alliance is working with partners around the world to improve access to clean cooking, including through:
- The Responsible Carbon Finance for Clean Cooking Initiative, which seeks to ensure that carbon market opportunities are realized through sound, verifiable, and up-to-date methodologies.
- The Clean Cooking and Climate Consortium, which supports countries’ efforts in using clean cooking interventions to meet their climate goals.
- The Delivery Units Network, which helps governments achieve their clean cooking plans.
- The Spark+ Africa Fund, which finances pioneering clean cooking companies.
Endorsing the Clean Cooking Support Act
A growing coalition of businesses, research institutions, and advocacy organizations have signed on to support this new legislation, including:
- American Heart Association
- American Lung Association
- Better World Campaign
- Boston College Global Observatory of Pollution and Health
- Burn Design Lab
- BURN USA
- Canopy Energies
- Chef Jose Andres
- CLASP (Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program)
- Clean Cooking Alliance
- Clean Cooking Alliance of Tanzania
- ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy
- Every Breath Counts Coalition
- Global Bioethanol Coalition
- Global Energy Alliance for People and the Planet
- Global Women’s Network for Energy Transition
- Haines Solar Cookers
- Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS)
- Mwangaza Light
- Pivot Clean Energy Co
- Project Gaia
- Solar Cookers International
- SolCook LLC
- Spark+ Africa Fund
- Sustainable Energy for All
- Student Energy
- United Nations Association – USA
- University of Chicago Center for Global Health
- Value for Women
- Whitten & Roy Partnership
- World Central Kitchen
- World LPG Association
To add your organization, please contact email@example.com.