A call to action by the Africa-Europe Foundation for achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2030.
With fewer than ten years until we reach 2030, the world remains far off track to meet SDG7 — which commits to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Nearly 2.6 billion people still lack access to modern cooking solutions, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress and further exacerbate inequalities.
To date, the level of commitment and investment in clean cooking has not matched the global magnitude of the challenge. Considering the annual toll on human health, forests, climate and local economies, clean cooking solutions should be central to global strategies and to national recovery plans. Changing the way families cook their food each day will slow climate change and deforestation, drive gender equality, reduce poverty, and provide enormous health benefits.
The next twelve months are critically important year for energy and international development. The UN HighLevel Dialogue on Energy, the 26th UN Climate Conference (COP 26) and the Africa-Europe political summit of heads of state in early 2022 give world leaders an opportunity to make momentous progress on climate protection, health, the environment, and women’s empowerment. Ambitious commitments and concrete actions to achieve universal access to clean cooking will be one of the most significant levers to achieving both climate and development goals.
The Manifesto identifies 10 immediate actions to ensure clean cooking for all is achieved by 2030:
• Ensure a just energy transition that leaves no one behind
• Integrate clean cooking into nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and national energy planning
• Create and resource governmental clean cooking ‘delivery units’
• Enact favourable and stable fiscal policies to sustain business growth and increase affordability
• Support countries to develop appropriate policy frameworks and technical support to enable the rapid growth of clean cooking solutions
• Increase funding to match the magnitude of the clean cooking challenge
• Develop sustainable markets that deliver clean and affordable solutions
• Increase private sector investment in clean cooking solutions
• Build stronger partnerships with the electricity sector to advance electric cooking
• Increase participation of women and integrate gender issues
Bold action must be taken to ensure that billions of people have the means to prepare food in a safe, clean and affordable way.