Taken from www.smokeinthekitchen.com

Excerpts from the Ashden Report: "Our calculations suggest that a global programme to manufacture the half-billion improved stoves needed to convert the world’s poor to safer cooking could save hundreds of thousands of young lives a year - and at the same time cut global greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of up to one billion tonnes of CO2 a year.

Such investments ought to attract large sums through the carbon market. We calculate that improved cooking stoves can keep a tonne of CO2 out of the atmosphere for as little as $1-3 – an exceedingly good deal in a market where offsets can be sold for $20-30 a tonne.

Ashden Award winner Aprovecho, is collaborating with China’s largest manufacturer of domestic stoves, Shengzhou Stove Manufacturer (SSM), to mass produce lightweight portable ceramic stoves, based on the rocket design. The company has already sold more than 110,000 stoves mainly through distributors in countries like India, South Africa and Chile.

The stoves last around three years and cost as little as $8 each. They cut fuel use by 40 per cent or more and reduce smoke and carbon monoxide emissions by more than 50 per cent. The stoves will typically cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than one tonne a year, or as much as two tonnes if the … ...fuel comes from deforestation. This will result in reductions in emissions at a cost of only around $2 per tonne of CO2.

Despite their growing popularity, the acceptance of improved stoves can be a problem. One study in Mexico of early Patsari stoves found that 50% of women abandoned them in favour of their old, more dangerous stoves. GIRA worked closely with users to improve the design, and 70% of families now use their Patsari stove on a regular basis. This highlights the importance of looking at both the technology and building a relationship with the users.

Although many women dislike the smoke, for some it has a value. For instance, keeping away malaria-carrying mosquitoes and killing bugs that lurk in their thatched roofs.

A study, in Bangladesh, found that women said they knew about the health benefits of new stoves, but were cautious about adopting them ahead of family, friends of community leaders. Many said they feared the new stoves might change their husbands’ views about their cooking.

“People tend to reject a technology that an opinion leader has rejected,” says Grant Miller of Stanford Medical School, who organised the study. In future, far greater effort needs to go into both cook-friendly design of stoves and in ‘social marketing’ to educate women about the benefits of new stoves, he says.

Getting the technology and design of stoves right is essential to ensure their widespread adoption. They need to be culturally appropriate. But equally governments, businesses and development organisations need to promote and replicate the most effective stoves or the necessary scale of uptake will never be achieved. Carbon finance may be significant in achieving this.

Working closely with communities to overcome the barriers to adoption is essential to squaring this circle. The good news is that the costs are not great, the mechanics of scaling up production are not complex – and the benefits are multiple, including better health, improved rates of child survival, better lives for women, improved local environments and cost-effective measures to tackle climate change.

“There is now a compelling case for getting improved stoves to millions more people,” says Sarah Butler Sloss, Founder Director of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. “Better stoves improve health, save lives, help mitigate the effects of climate change while also saving money.”

Read the full report here

category: Poverty