heres to being called ms. cookstove for years to come

11 Dec 2015 by Kidanua Abera, Programme Analyst, Energy and Low Carbon Development, UNDP

Members of the Ethiopian government look at cookstove technology on a UNDP-supported experience sharing visit to India. Photo: UNDP Ethiopia
For the past few years, I’ve proudly been referred to in our office as ‘Ms. Cookstove’. I joined UNDP to work on the carbon market, specifically the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) capacity building programme for Eastern and Southern Africa. When people talk about international carbon trading, they usually talk about ‘big’ emitting industries. But in 2010, I learned about the importance of seemingly ‘small’ but equally devastating emitters such as the traditional three-stone open fire cooking method, used by the majority of rural households in Ethiopia. Three billion people across the world use this method of cooking, which not only contributes to serious health problems, but also contributes significant levels of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Although the international carbon market has collapsed, the issue of access to sustainable energy has remained a key development issue. When Ethiopia launched its Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy back in 2011, I was happy that an improved fuel-wood cookstove was identified as one of the four simple and easy solutions that could be used to reduce the country’s emissions. This is doubly important given that 81 percent of Ethiopia’s population lives in rural areas, where access to clean energy remains a challenge. Studies … Read more

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