Transition to Clean Cooking Is a ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ in Climate Action

2023-12-28 16:24

Improving access to clean cooking will not only help the world get closer to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but it will not be possible to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without doing so, said experts speaking on the sidelines of COP28.

“We don’t want people to be breathing polluted air as a result of the fact that they are preparing food,” said Maria Neira, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director of Environment, Climate Change and Health.

Globally around 2.3 billion people rely on polluting traditional fuels like wood and biomass for cooking, according to the latest report by WHO. It estimates that the cooking sector contributes 3% to the annual global carbon emissions.

It also causes tremendous indoor air pollution. In 2022 alone, indoor air pollution was estimated to be responsible for 3.2 million deaths, according to WHO.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable as in many cultures they are responsible for cooking and related chores like gathering firewood. Air pollution is also linked to a rise in miscarriages and worsens pregnancy outcomes.

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