Shell today pledged an additional $6 million to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which aims to save lives and protect the environment through the use of improved cookstoves and fuels. This follows $6 million of Shell funding announced in 2010, and the secondment of a Shell employee to the Alliance. Shell is the single largest private-sector contributor to the Alliance.
Globally, nearly three billion people still cook food and warm their homes using solid fuels, such as wood or charcoal. It is estimated that daily exposure to smoke from open fires and basic cookstoves contributes to four million premature deaths each year, with women and children most affected. Furthermore, the time spent searching for wood and other fuels takes millions of women and children away from earning a living or attending school, and inefficient cookstoves contribute increased emissions of greenhouse gases and black carbon, or soot, to the atmosphere.
Encouraging the use of specially designed clean cookstoves, which can significantly reduce fuel use, cooking time and emissions, is an internationally recognised solution.
“Nearly half of the world’s population do not have access to modern energy that is safe, reliable and affordable,” said Hugh Mitchell, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Officer, Royal Dutch Shell plc. “Cooperation among business, government and society is essential to addressing such a large-scale challenge.
“The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a strong example of how collaboration across sectors can help bring modern energy solutions to the developing world. Shell is pleased to continue its support for the Alliance to encourage the widespread adoption of cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels.”
The Alliance is a public-private partnership founded in 2010 by the United Nations Foundation. Shell became a founding partner to make a positive impact on a global energy-related challenge.
The Alliance aims to switch 100 million homes to clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. It targets the market barriers that impede the production, deployment and use of clean cookstoves in developing countries.
Shell’s $6 million donation announced today will be phased, and brings Shell’s total donation to the Alliance to $12 million during the period of 2011-2016.
“From day one, Shell has been a tremendously effective and engaged partner in the Alliance’s efforts to support entrepreneurs and raise awareness about this little known issue,” said Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “Shell’s renewed commitment to the Alliance, in conjunction with its multifaceted expertise and global reach, will enable us to deepen our in-country market-development activities, and help to spur the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels at scale.”
Shell’s contribution is targeted to maximise its impact, and so far has been directed towards the development of global standards, regional testing centers and a market assessment toolkit for the cookstoves sector. Market assessments funded by Shell were carried out in Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa and Timor Leste, and are underway in China. In addition, Shell helped launch “Spark Fund” in 2012, which provides grant capital to scale up enterprises that have the potential to transform the cookstoves sector.
Shell’s support builds on work of Shell Foundation, an independent charity. For more than 10 years, Shell Foundation has been active in developing the clean cookstoves market as a way to deliver social and environmental impact at scale. It works across the value chain to pioneer sustainable ways to supply stoves to homes in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and to tackle market barriers such as affordability, customer awareness and rural distribution. This work has benefited more than four million people. Shell Foundation’s efforts to convene networks of practitioners led to the creation of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves with the UN Foundation in 2010.