Project Gaia joins public and private sector partners at the launch of the
Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
September has been an exciting month for Gaia and all of our partners working to improve global public health and the environment. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves was officially launched Thursday September 23, on the final day of the Clinton Global Initiative Annual 2010 Meeting. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the exciting, new initiative during the plenary session focusing on empowering women and girls in the developing world. Secretary Clinton, ranked by Forbes as the #5 most powerful woman in the world announced “clean stoves can be as transformative as bed nets and vaccines” To listen to Secretary Clinton’s full speech please click here.
For the first time in history, issues of access to modern energy and cookstoves captured the international media. Major newspapers, magazines and blogs such as BBC, CNN, New York Times, The Economist, and The Guardian featured stories of indoor air pollution and the benefits of cleaner-burning stoves.
Led by the UN Foundation, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is made up of public sector partners, including The U.S. Department of State, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as the governments of Norway and Peru. The implementing partners consist of various UN organizations. Private Sector partners include Morgan Stanley and the Shell Foundation. The U.S. State Department plans to provide approximately $50 million in seed money over the next 5 years. A dozen other organizations and governments have pledged an additional $10 million in start-up capital.
The international alliance’s goals are: to set stove standards and indoor air quality guidelines, spur innovative financing mechanisms such as carbon taxes, field test clean stoves and fuels, and bridge key sectors such as health, climate, technology and fuels.
The Alliance is a turning point in international development efforts. The harmful health and environment impact of indoor air pollution – which causes more deaths than malaria each year- has been largely unreported until recent years.
Project Gaia remains the only organization actively promoting the combination of cookstoves and alcohol fuel for household energy purposes. The CleanCook stove was one of eight stoves on display at the Cookstove Launch. The CleanCook stove plus alcohol fuels offers a clean, efficient and safe way to battle climate change and health complications which result from burning traditional biomass in the developing world.
Clinton referred to the problem of indoor air pollution as a “cross-cutting issue” that affects health, the environment and women’s status in much of the world. “That’s what makes it such a good subject for a coordinated approach of governments, aid organizations and the private sector,” she said in a telephone interview. Project Gaia is eager to see these words turn to action.