Publication - Clean Cooking and the SDGs: Integrated Analytical Approaches to Guide Energy Interventions for Health and Environment Goals

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Clean Cooking and the SDGs: Integrated Analytical Approaches to Guide Energy Interventions for Health and Environment Goals
Science Direct
Joshua Rosenthala, Ashlinn Quinna, Andrew P. Grieshopb, Ajay Pillarisettic, Roger I. Glassa
Published in
February 2018
Development and implementation of clean cooking technology for households in low and middle income countries (LMICs) offer enormous promise to advance at least five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 3. Good health and well-being; 5. Gender equality; 7. Affordable and clean energy; 13. Climate action; 15. Life on land. Programs are being implemented around the world to introduce alternative cooking technologies, and we are well on the way to achieving the goal set by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to reach 100 million homes with cleaner and more efficient cooking methods by 2020. Despite evidence that household air pollution (HAP) from solid fuel combustion is responsible for 3–4 million early deaths per year, many cookstove programs are motivated and/or financed by climate change mitigation schemes and deploy alternative stoves that use solid fuels such as wood and charcoal. However, recent studies have demonstrated that improved biomass-burning stoves typically only incrementally improve air quality and yield modest or minimal health benefits. Likewise, their contributions to climate change mitigation and other SDGs may be limited. Evidence indicates that cleaner fuels, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), ethanol and biogas, offer greater potential benefits not only to health, but also greater progress towards climate goals and other relevant SDGs. We present a modeled estimate of these potential gains for a diverse group of 40 LMICs. Our model suggests that cookstove programs using LPG stoves and fuel will yield greater reductions in both Disability Adjusted Life Years and Global Warming Commitment in these countries than those using improved biomass stoves. Cost and infrastructure requirements for clean fuels such as LPG are widely recognized constraints. In view of these constraints we present an analytical method to simultaneously consider health and climate needs at the national level for the same 40 countries in the context of estimated LPG expansion potentials. Comparative analyses integrating priorities across SDGs at the national and regional levels may guide more practical and effective household energy development choices going forward.