Clean cooking stoves for Africa: The IEA’s pitch to EU for COP28
(EurActiv, 13 Oct 2023) Fatih Birol, the chief of the International Energy Agency (IEA), is urging the European Union to back a clean cooking initiative for Africa at the upcoming COP28 climate summit in Dubai, telling Euractiv in an exclusive interview that this is “the number one issue” for the continent.
According to the IEA, four out of five African families currently rely on primitive charcoal or firewood cooking stoves to prepare their meals, leaving 70% of the population without clean cooking fuels.
“Today in Africa, when it comes to energy and climate, the number one issue is clean cooking,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, in an exclusive interview with Euractiv.
According to the IEA, the harmful smoke released by cooking stoves contributes to 3.7 million premature deaths annually, primarily affecting women and children.
“They are dying,” Birol said. “It’s a gender issue and a health issue”, he added, but also a big energy and climate problem.
Yet, he reckons the issue could be solved in one fell swoop by helping families on the continent switch to clean cooking solutions.