The United States' Commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves: Year Five Progress Report

Report
from US Department of State
Published on 24 Sep 2015 View Original

As the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves approaches its fifth anniversary, the United States is pleased to announce that it has not only met, but vastly exceeded that five year commitment. The U.S. investment over these five years ultimately spanned eleven federal agencies, and totaled over $114 million – well over double the original 5-year commitment. This investment includes roughly $76 million in research and efforts to develop the evidence base for clean cooking interventions, $31 million in field implementation activities, and $7 million in financing for the clean cooking sector.

This commitment has played an enormous role in positioning the Alliance to achieve its 2020 goal of enabling 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient cooking solutions. More specifically, these U.S. investments have led to significant advances in the clean cooking sector. Highlights of how each agency’s investment has spurred such progress are noted below, as well as summary investment figures for each agency.

The U.S. Secretary of State and Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the launch the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (the Alliance) in 2010. As part of that launch, six U.S. federal agencies committed to cumulatively invest roughly $50 million over the following five years to help build this sector.

Looking forward, the urgency to continue this work remains. Billions of people still have no option but to cook over traditional stoves and open fires, and the World Health Organization still estimates that exposure to smoke from these stoves leads to over 4 million premature deaths each year. These exposures rank as the world’s fourth worst health risk – and the second worst for women and girls. In November 2014 the United States announced new anticipated support for the clean cooking sector and the Alliance that could result in up to $175 million in additional financing, research, and additional support through 2020 – a figure that does not include the renewal of financing commitments originally intended to conclude in 2015 (see below, OPIC). These figures are noted below as well. For all agencies, all future projected support is subject to the availability of funds.

The State Department has led a wide range of diplomatic activities to advance the Alliance and the clean cooking sector.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Leveraged U.S. diplomacy to help build and extend partnerships with many of the Alliance’s leading public and private sector partners, identify high-profile Alliance champions, raise public awareness of cookstoves by hosting events in countries across the globe, and engaging U.S. embassies to support Alliance activities in their focus countries.

  • Leveraged a Department event in January 2013 to announce up to $74 million in new public and private commitments from partners to bring 4 million clean stoves to the East Africa by 2020 and launch clean cookstove manufacturing facilities in Kenya and Lesotho.

  • Through the Partnership on Women's Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER), directly supported activities to scale adoption of household energy products by increasing the number of women entrepreneurs who are able to effectively and efficiently distribute these products, including grant funding to a wPOWER Hub at the Wangaari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies and to allow the Alliance to expand its Women’s Empowerment Fund (WEF), provide gender capacity building support for WEF grantees, and support the development of robust monitoring and evaluation plans to measure impact on women and girls.

  • Worked with the Alliance to propose and launch a $2.1 million cookstoves initiative under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition that seeks to catalyze clean cooking stove technology to reduce black carbon emissions through high-level advocacy, support for new finance mechanisms, private sector innovation, and development of standards and testing protocols to provide clear criteria for evaluating black carbon emission reductions.

  • In partnership with USAID and the World Food Programme, provided funding to deliver 30,000 stoves to drought-affected women and their families in the Horn of Africa impacting a total of 200,000 individuals.

State Department Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $0.37 million

  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $6.17 million

  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: not applicable

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to leading the cookstove sector with regard to stove testing, climate and air quality research, developing international standards, and building capacity of Global Alliance Partners on stove testing in the laboratory and in the field, and on improving the design and performance of cookstoves.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Led the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA), and our 600 Partners working in 115 countries to rapidly increase the use of clean and efficient cookstoves. Integrated PCIA with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at Rio+20 in 2012. In 2010 and 2011 combined, PCIA Partners reported selling more than 6 million cookstoves, improving the health and livelihood of more than 30 million people. Organized the 5th Biennial PCIA Forum in Lima, Peru in 2011, where 351 Partners from 42 countries gathered for five days of workshops, presentations and case studies from successful programs around the world.

  • Awarded six STAR grants totalling nearly $9 million to quantify the air quality, health, and climate impacts of household burning and the benefits for health and climate of cleaner technologies.

  • Played a central role in the ongoing development of first-ever global cookstoves standards. Organized the development of an ISO International Workshop that resulted in the unanimous support for IWA11 – “Guidelines for evaluating cookstove performance.” These guidelines are the first international guidelines developed for evaluating cookstove performance. Continue to lead cookstoves standards work through ISO Technical Committee 285 “Standardization in the field of cookstoves and clean cooking solutions.”

  • Played a lead role in establishing the global infrastructure for cookstove/fuel testing. Launched independent testing lab and published data on air pollutant emissions and fuel efficiency – this information was essential in establishing IWA11 while formal cookstoves standards are being developed. Organized 16 regional workshops on stove testing in the laboratory and in the field, and on improving the design and performance of cookstoves; many workshops were followed by extensive field testing (with results published in peer reviewed journals). Provided technical support to build capacity in international Regional Testing and Knowledge Centers – many co-sponsored by the Alliance.

  • Published “Black Carbon Report to Congress” in 2012, a seminal report that summarized available scientific information on the climate and health impacts of black carbon, including the important contribution home cooking and heating have on black carbon emissions.

  • Organized 18 webinars to share best practices on a wide variety of cookstove-related initiatives with more than 1,200 participants from more than 900 organizations.

EPA Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $6.0 million

  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $16.54 million

  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: $ 15 million

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting the adoption of affordable stoves that require less fuel to meet household energy needs and release fewer pollutants, as a means to improve health, reduce environmental degradation, mitigate climate change, foster economic growth, and empower women.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • USAID mission programs in Haiti and Bangladesh have worked to build sustainable markets for cleaner and more efficient stoves and alternative fuels, primarily by strengthening local private-sector capacity to manufacture and sell improved stoves. In Haiti, over 36,000 households bought efficient biomass stoves, and over 78,000 households converted from charcoal to LPG. In Bangladesh, five manufacturers are now marketing new stove designs, and have sold over 18,000 stoves. Several of these stoves have now been accepted for dissemination by the government’s Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), which is expected to increase sales substantially.

  • USAID’s Developing a Sustainable Cookstove Sector (DSCS) Program has helped increase financing available for cookstove enterprises and consumers in Kenya. DSCS facilitated the establishment of loan facilities with the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives to help cooperative members purchase stoves, and with the Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust, which is providing working capital to cookstove distributors. Also with support from DSCS, a targeted consumer loan product for stoves has been rolled out to 72 Equity Bank branches throughout Kenya. Together these financing options have enabled the sale of over 15,000 efficient stoves so far.

  • USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), an open innovation fund that sources, tests, and scales breakthrough solutions to global development challenges, has awarded $3.2 million to four grantees working to increase use and grow the cookstove markets in Burkina Faso, India, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Kenya. The grants resulted in the sale of over 50,000 stoves and enabled the grantees to refine their technologies and strengthen their business models.

  • USAID’s Global Health Bureau has led research to provide greater understanding of the key drivers for adoption and use of clean cooking fuels and technologies. In Uganda key concerns for clean cookstove acquisition included price and fuel availability while key enablers included free trials, cooking demonstrations, and promotion by respected community members. Research from northern India suggested that key drivers for adoption included decreased fuel consumption and faster cooking times. Ongoing research will identify enablers and barriers to the exclusive and sustained use of LPG as a replacement to biomass-fueled cooking in households.

USAID Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $9.0 million

  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $29.85 million

  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: mobilize up to $125 million in new private financing

The Department of Health and Human Services supports the Alliance through health research, evaluation, and training activities of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are supporting health research and training to improve the health and lives of those at risk from household burning of solid fuels.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Supporting significant research projects on health benefits of clean cooking interventions in half a dozen countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These include interventional and observational studies, exposure science, adoption and use, and projects related to building the infrastructure for household air pollution-related research and capacity strengthening platforms.

  • Engaging partners in this research, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases.

  • Launching a Clean Cooking Implementation Science Network (ISN) of international research investigators and implementers engaged in household air pollution projects. The aim is to accelerate the science of clean cooking uptake and appropriate use to provide guidance to the wider community research, policy and practice communities. The ISN has a particular focus on clean fuels uptake.

NIH Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $24.7 million

  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $36.6 million

  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: $30 million

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are evaluating cookstove programs to better understand their public health benefits and key determinants of adoption, assessing the potential of scaling new technologies and capacity, and engaging country Ministries of Health and other partners to promote reduction of HAP as part of the global health agenda.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Provided technical expertise and assistance to the Alliance in the development of its 5-year strategic plan, specifically focusing on the public health, applied health science, and evaluation components that are needed to substantially improve the evidence base that clean and safe cooking will provide a significant health benefit to the world’s poorest populations.

  • Conducted comprehensive evaluation of six new biomass stoves in Kenya, including evaluation of stove emissions, stove use, personal exposure, biomarkers, and qualitative data on stove preference and adoption. This study contributed to advancing the cookstoves sector evidence base regarding evaluation and integration of quantitative and qualitative findings. Five scientific papers are currently pending publication.

  • Provided technical assistance to evaluation of pilot LPG scale-up project with University of California, San Francisco and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. This project uses women entrepreneurs to market LPG stoves and disseminate health messaging around clean and safe cooking.

  • Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of India and the United States on environmental and occupational health. Discussions underway on two potential LPG scale-up projects in rural India to begin in 2016 in collaboration with various partners including the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Oil and Natural Gas.

  • Developed burn injury surveillance pilot project in India in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

CDC Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $1 million

  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $5.43 million

  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: $5 million

The Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) is spurring development of low emission, high efficiency cookstoves through research in areas such as combustion, heat transfer, and materials development.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • S. DOE funding has supported the development of 11 innovative prototype cookstoves that aim to meet user’s needs for cost, fuel source, features, durability, and aspirational value as well as field-validated performance such as emissions, efficiency, and safety.

  • With U.S. DOE support, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory built and commissioned a world-class laboratory for rapid testing of stove emissions and stove efficiency.

  • S. DOE funding supported the testing of over 15 different materials combinations which resulted in the identification of at least one material that offers promise in future cookstoves offering improved corrosion resistance over state-of-the-art cookstove materials at lower costs.

  • S. DOE supported research aimed at understanding the underlying combustion physics of cookstoves has resulted in the development of a computationally light 4th order Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool to assist in future cookstove design.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) work supported by U.S. DOE has resulted in the development of a Platform for Integrated Cookstove Assessment (PICA) designed to meet the need for stove measurement tools that facilitate and streamline critical data collection, and to make it possible to integrate, analyze and manipulate data from a variety of monitoring and sensor devices.

U.S. DOE Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $12.5 million

  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $10.6 million

  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: not applicable

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will provide up to $50 million in debt financing or insurance that meet their credit and lending standards over five years to support projects that provide clean, consistent, and affordable access to energy and energy savings through the manufacture, sale, and purchase of cookstoves.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Loan to Burn Manufacturing – OPIC committed and has now fully disbursed a loan of $3 million to Burn Manufacturing to support its manufacture and sale of high quality cookstoves in Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa.

  • Loan to Envirofit – In 2015, OPIC committed a loan of $4 million to Envirofit. It is anticipated that the loan will be closed and an initial disbursement made prior to the end of 2015. The loan will support Envirofit’s expansion of production and sales of cookstoves in various markets in which it is operating.

OPIC Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2011: up to $50 million

  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $7 million

  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: renewing commitment of up to $50 million

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is supporting research related to the climate, air quality and health benefits of the adoption of clean cookstoves.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Awarded nearly $1.5 million for a study in Ghana to examine the scaled-up air quality and health impacts of clean cookstoves adoption.

  • Awarded nearly $250,000 for a study to understand the aerosol absorption in biomass burning plumes through measurements of albedo effects, coatings, and brown carbon.

NSF Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: [not applicable]

  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $1.75 million

  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: not applicable

Additional Federal Agencies Providing Support to the Clean Cooking Sector:

  • The Peace Corps works with community members (including masons, small enterprises, and community-based women’s/other groups) to create demand for, construct and maintain improved cookstoves, provides ongoing support to sustain use of these cookstoves, and helps low-income families, schools, and others access grants to reduce the cost of them.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is partnering with scientists in other countries to monitor global black carbon emissions and assess the climate impacts and benefits of switching to clean cookstoves by: developing instrumentation quantifying corresponding changes in soot emissions; characterizing the properties of the soot produced; quantifying the climate impacts and evaluating the climate benefits of soot emission reductions; and measuring aerosol equivalent black carbon continuously at 30 sites around the Earth.

  • As part of its global strategy to optimize natural resource conservation and agricultural productivity, the Department of Agriculture is lending its technical expertise on key policy and regulatory questions facing the cook stove sector and helping align the Alliance with ongoing international efforts that promote the sustainable production and use of clean burning biomass cooking fuels.