Death by Dirty Cooking

November 5, 2019

“It would cost an estimated $4.4 billion annually to meet the world’s residential clean-cooking needs – far more than what is currently available. While that figure is not small, it is dwarfed by the costs of inaction” says Kandeh Yumkella (former United Nations under-secretary-general and chair of UN-Energy and currently a member of Sierra Leone’s Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament) in op-ed Death by Dirty Cooking.

Global crisis

With this piece, Yumkella draws attention to the global cooking crisis that kills 4.3 million people annually through exposure to household air pollution – more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Moreover, cooking on dirty fuels such as firewood is the second-biggest driver of climate change after CO2 and contributes substantially to deforestation.

Lack of political will

Yumkella argues that despite the scope of the issue, too little action has been taken. He devotes this to a lack of political will, not inadequate technology or insufficient resources. “The UN should lead the way in advancing a multi-stakeholder approach driven by strong public-private partnerships.” he adds.

Read the full article ‘Death by Dirty cooking’ on Project-Syndicate.


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Clean Cooking Forum 2019
Q&A with Rita Poppe ‘Putting clean cooking on the agenda’
Research publication ‘Beyond Fire: How to achieve electric cooking’