cooking poverty

This page collects materials related to the issue of one-half the world’s people cooking with dirty, dangerous fuels using inefficient devices in poor ventilation.

–from Killed by Breathing

Killed by Breathing – Addressing Cooking Poverty: Current State, Gaps and Challenges, and Proposed Solutions to Achieving SDG 7.

This June 2021 report describes five actions to improve the cooking sector, and gaps that need to be filled regarding Advocacy, Governance, Behavior, Funding and Knowledge & Information. It was prepared by a team of seven graduate students* as an independent study within Columbia’s Sustainability Management Program. It argues that the Cooking Poverty sector lacks the capacity to address the scale of the problem and recommends aligning with the electricity sector.

*Anne-Marie Biser Kaluz, Deborah Thomas, John Anthony Hodges, Lisa Ghaffari, Nicholas Rossano, Peter Clarence Schott, and Zhongmin Guo

Billions of people are infected by the smoke and particles from dirty fuels used inefficiently. Millions die each year. Most are women. The cost of inaction reaches trillions of dollars per year. Business-as-usual efforts to address cooking poverty are insignificant when compared to the size of the challenge.

LINK to NEXT BILLION: Clean Cooking is Heading for Failure: Why the Sector Needs a Real Strategy–Not Just a List of Ideas

“Almost 4 billion people across 71 countries are impacted by inefficient, dirty cooking fuels. Yet as Phil LaRocco at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs points out, progress toward addressing this long-standing global crisis has stalled. He argues that the “Systems Strategy” proposed by the influential NGO the Clean Cooking Alliance and the global consulting firm Dalberg is not enough to change the sector’s current trajectory. Instead, he urges clean cooking stakeholders to embrace a coherent, ecosystem-wide strategy, outlining three potential alternative approaches.”

–from Next Billion Introduction

For more than a year the Clean Cooking Alliance and Dalberg have been leading an effort to create a sector-wide strategy. What has resulted is neither a strategy nor a response appropriate to the scale and complexity of the cooking poverty problem.