Millions of people were on strike. Hillary Clinton was on board. Money was put and yet, the big goal behind the efforts of tackling the plague of the third world food fire has earned only marginal benefits.
For decades, it has been one of the world’s most unrecognized health threats: household pollution in developing countries, most of which comes from cooking fires.
The use of timber from villages and slums in Africa, Central America and Asia, and the dangers of fecal or charcoal fires are estimated by health officials to shorten the lives of millions of people each year. In 2004, the World Health Organization labeled household pollution as “the killer in the kitchen”. Women and children who are closest to the fireplace pay the greatest price.
Many environmentalists are worried that if the cost of health is insufficient, the so-called cooking “biomisk” has serious consequences for the Earth’s climate. There is concern that emissions from fires can cause global warming, while wood harvesting for cooking helps to reduce forests, one of the carbon absorption barriers that nature absorbs from greenhouse gases.
In 2010, the Global Clean Stove Alliance was formed to help us continue our efforts to address the threat posed by household pollution. The alliance is committed to helping design and allocates 100 million stoves and small household appliances by 2020 to reduce fuel use and toxic emissions from poor families around the world.
The United Nations Foundation is the founding partner of this work. At that time, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the US government support, promised funds and resources from a few institutions. When Clinton announced the establishment of the alliance, he said, “The lives of millions of people can be saved and improved.” He added that clean stoves can be as revolutionary as vaccines.
However, after eight years and $75 million, the alliance is far from achieving ambitious health and climate goals.
A series of studies, including those funded by the Alliance itself, show that millions of biomass stoves sold or distributed in the field are underperforming in this area to reduce the risk of life-threatening diseases such as heart disease and pneumonia. .
The stove did not bring much climate benefits. It turns out that emissions from cooking fires are not just a warning of warming threats, but in addition to some hotspots that remove forests – wood harvesting for cooking fires can only moderate forest sustainability.
Conversely, the lack of influence on the warming planet has weakened the alliance’s plan to raise additional multi-million dollar corporate investments that are eager to take on the stove as a record of compensating for its own emissions or polishing its environmental responsibility.
Senior officials of the alliance did not doubt that they had encountered a series of disappointing things. They say that there is one thing that some countries and companies that promised tens of millions of dollars in the early days have failed to deliver, and they blame it on changing priorities and agendas, not the struggles of the alliance.
Kip Patrick, Global Alliance Partner and Senior Director of Communications, pointed out the benefits of this effort, saying that the millions of biomass stoves distributed so far have been reduced, women spend time on wood and buy poor families such as charcoal the cost of. .
Patrick added that the alliance acknowledged its disappointing preliminary results and adjusted its future strategy.
The Alliance has brought some ironic turns to future plans: it will now work harder to promote and distribute fossil fuels using propane, a fossil fuel that is also contained in cylinders on US backyard grills. Blue by-product of gas drilling. (Beyond the United States, propane is most commonly referred to as liquefied petroleum gas or liquefied petroleum gas.) These furnaces have proven to burn more cleanly and efficiently than almost all biomass stoves, reducing harmful fumes from cooking. Ignore the impact on the climate.
In an interview last summer, Radhakrata Muthuhea, CEO of the Alliance, said that the UPF has never opposed the product. But we should talk about its openness for fossil fuel solutions. “We really should be the global clean cooking alliance,” she said. “If you don’t talk about fuel, you can’t talk about stoves. This is half of the equation.”
Reed Dexiong, vice president of the United Nations Foundation’s Energy and Climate Strategy, said he also supports the promotion of propane, but he acknowledges that the foundation tends to promote renewable energy on a global scale.
Kirk R. Smith, professor of global environmental health at the University of California at Berkeley, may have more work on the health effects of cooking pollution in developing countries. He said the league’s setbacks reflect “a classic identification problem, and only because you know the problem is that you know the solution.”He admits that foreigners who tried to reinvent the cooking methods of developing countries have had no effect. ”
“Maybe there will be that magical stove,” Smith said, improving the long-term push of biomass stoves. “But 60 years later, it starts to look a bit suspicious.”
Public health researchers have long been concerned about the dangers of open cooking fires. When the fuel is inefficiently burned – especially solid fuels such as wood or dry manure – it produces a dazzling and dangerous series of toxic gases and particles containing traces of toxic components.
The main concern is the smallest particles, called PM 2.5, which are less than 2.5 microns. (Human hair averages 70 microns.) These particles penetrate deep into the lungs, and minimal studies have shown that the smallest particles can enter the bloodstream.
One of the earliest hints of rural cooking smoke leading to serious illnesses appeared in a paper written in 1959 by Indian pioneering cardiologist Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavati (he was still practicing at the age of 101). Padmawati and her collaborators are weighing the possible causes of cor pulmonale, the failure associated with lung problems on the right side of the heart. According to the study, most cases were not urban residents.
“In rural and semi-rural areas, most of these houses are mud houses in one or two rooms, with several family members living together,” the author writes, adding, “There is no smoke exit, and the result is the house. When the family dinner is cooked, the smog is pervasive.”
Since then, a large body of literature has been accumulated to link smog in solid fuel cooking too many diseases, and the death toll in India is estimated to be between 1.1 million and 1.4 million premature deaths each year. It is estimated that global loss of life is greater than all air pollution caused by fossil fuels burning in power plants, factories and traffic jams.
In the village of Talaran on the outskirts of Taleran, 60 miles east of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, threats can be seen in the home of Sulabai Dhavkar. The village is located in Sahyadri, opposite the Benevolent mountain range. The engraved clay stove that ProPublica visited at home last summer is still a precious fixture on the stove of more than 150 million Indian families.
The wood used for the stove comes from deposits near the house collected from the surrounding bushes and forests, and once the fire ignites, the blue smoke engulfs Dhavkar. She spent a few hours cooking breakfast and then repeating it during dinner time.
Beginning around 2000, there is concern that the danger of family lurking like Dhavkar begins to resonate more broadly. During President George W. Bush’s administration, the US State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency launched a Clean Indoor Air Partnership.
A modern plastic plan for the world’s oldest refueling refineries is for nonprofit organizations, academics and entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to improve technology to help deforestation forests or provide solutions to rural poverty.
Cookstoves seems to be an affordable and effective solution for the “kitchen killer”. In December 2009, the New Yorker magazine published an article by Burkhard Bilger, “The pursuit of a stove that can save the world.” These appliances, some of which are as small as Crock-Pot, cost as little as $25. This article focuses on “The Stove Camp” – an annual leisure venue in Oregon, where engineers and entrepreneurs at this emerging stove sport center have improved their designs.
In the first two years of the Obama administration, the effort to bring together government work and private partners is the logical next step. Some developers of the program warned that the goal of distributing 100 million stoves by 2020 is bold, but the alliance’s partners are impressive and deeply immersed.
The United Nations Foundation provided a base for operations, which was founded in 1997 and is a multi-billion dollar commitment by Ted Turner. Within five years, the Obama administration has pledged more than $50 million to test stoves and promote innovation in clean design. Another $10 million came from initial commitments from partners including the German and Norwegian governments. The oil and gas giant Shell eventually raised a total of $13 million and its independent charitable foundation provided more funding and support. Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, supplemented the unspecified financial contribution of the company’s charitable foundation to help underscore a study assessing the benefits of low-emission biomass burning stoves for pneumonia morbidity and birth weight.
The upcoming party of the alliance was held at the sixth meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual showcase and fundraising event for anti-poverty projects built around the appeal of the former President and First Lady. At the Sheraton New York Hotel in late September 2010, Hillary Clinton detailed the cost of living and the time and well-being of women by continuing to rely on smoked cooking fires.
Clinton believed in past efforts on stoves, but most people expressed dissatisfaction. She emphasized that one aspect of the method of distinguishing alliances was a concentrated and rigorous push to ensure that households with stoves actually used them and used them correctly.
“Previous efforts have taught us that people don’t use stoves at all if they don’t consider local tastes and preferences, and we’ll find them piled up in piles of rubbish,” she said. “If we do this, these new stoves will seamlessly integrate into the family cooking tradition and take a step towards a better life.”
“The next time you sit down with your family to eat,” she pleaded. “Please take a moment to imagine the smell of smoke, feel it in your lungs, see the ash stacked on the wall, and then come to us to clean the world. Stove Union.”
Representatives of the Clinton and Clinton Global Initiative did not answer questions about the work of the alliance.
Within two years of the start of the alliance, evidence began to appear, indicating that its biomass stoves have no way to improve health outcomes.
The league’s own record clearly shows that of the tens of millions of stoves sold or distributed by its members, only 2 million are biomass stoves that meet their “clean” standards. And this standard, although much better than open, non-ventilated, is still similar to second-hand smoke produced by burning 40 cigarettes per hour at home.
In the interview, scientists believe the alliance has attracted attention and funded the loss of this huge, under-recognized cooking pollution. But some people are worried that the “smoky” smoke eruption has had a sad consensus in the research that has been instituted to bring about a real health effect.
“Health-based discussions must be based on peer-reviewed science,” said Rufus D. Edwards, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine, who conducted extensive assessments of the health and climate impacts of stoves, including the Environmental Protection Agency. Researching. “If this is a political standard, then that’s it, but don’t call it health.”
Few of the poor families from Africa to South America can effectively use clean or unclean stoves. It was Clinton’s shortcoming that the early stove was frustrated.
In 2013, Nandal, a 2,900-strong resident located 130 miles southeast of Mumbai, was called a “smoke-free village” and had installed about 500 stoves in a project underwritten by Indiana’s diesel and alternatives manufacturer Cummins. Energy engines and related equipment. A year later, a report in Nature magazine found that the stove was not being used.
ProPublica discovered the same thing last year. In one home, Sonali Maalan Kolekar explained that the performance of the new stove is different from that of the old stove.
“This person is doing very fast,” she said in Hindi, reaching to her left without breaking eye contact and gently pushing a small branch into the old chulha at home, a hand-carved open-top clay squid, one Pot or two. The sparks flew up, and the smoke rose and the rice boiled.
“The man is doing too slowly,” she added, pointing behind her towards the new abandoned stove.
One study after another found that Nandal’s experience has been replicated everywhere.
Earlier, the league had stated that if it had evidence that it was used correctly in a real home and was used often, it would only calculate one allocated stove. Today, the alliance says that every time it is used, it counts every stove it sends out.
Union Communications Officer Patrick said it is difficult and expensive to ensure that the stove is actually “adopted” into everyday use, but he hopes the league will determine how many stoves will be used by 2020.
In 2012, the consortium funded a study by Gabier, an assistant professor of environmental health science at Columbia University School of Public Health, which will measure whether biomass stoves improve the health outcomes of women and children. In particular, Jack is looking for changes in the rate of pneumonia, which is the league’s highest health goal.
The study has not yet been finalized, but Jack said that the basics of kitchen pollution science are clearly visible from his work and the work of many other scientists.
“The idea is that low-cost, improved biomass stoves can help you improve the air,” says Jack. “We can now decide to reject this assumption as any hypothesis.”
Patrick acknowledged the lack of evidence that households switching to biomass stoves can improve health. “We hope we were there seven or eight years ago?” he said. “Maybe not.”
Other studies have led to doubts about whether stoves do a lot of work to improve environmental damage associated with traditional cooking fires.
It is estimated that traditional cooking fires contribute about 1 billion tons of global carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions each year – a small fraction of the annual total.
In addition, studies have shown that cooking fires – especially in South Asia – also produce a black smoke called black carbon that warms the climate and darkens glaciers and snowfields, accelerating melting. The scientific review published in 2013 concluded that black carbon is second only to carbon dioxide in terms of climate warming, and that biomass-fired fires account for about a quarter of human emissions.
So far, scientific research has shown that stovers are helpful in some ways and hurt in others. A 2016 study showed that some of the “improved biomass” stoves produced significantly higher black carbon emissions than open flames, but under certain conditions and in certain seasons, another set of emissions was produced, surprisingly Yes, they have a cooling effect on the climate.
The alliance’s own research shows that the proportion of non-renewable wood used in traditional cooking fires is much lower than previously expected, thus limiting other major environmental benefits of the stove – reducing deforestation.
The alliance has always wanted to convince wealthy individuals and businesses to invest in stove distribution to offset their carbon footprint. In turn, their investments can be used to increase the quantity and quality of start-ups that build stoves around the world.
But the so-called “carbon credit” market has never really been realized. There are many reasons, but the fact that stoves have no apparent dramatic impact on the climate limits their appeal.
“Like many organizations, we are excited about climate benefits and climate finance, and we got the information at the time,” Patrick said. “Every time you learn more, you will adjust to the new information.”
In 2018, cooking fires remained a global problem, and the efforts of biomass stoves did not have much impact. According to research conducted by the United Nations and the World Health Organization, from 2010 to 2016, the percentage of the population with clean cooking was almost undetected. A report by the International Energy Agency pointed out that high fertility rates and persistent poverty in many sub-Saharan African countries are among the reasons for the lack of progress.
The alliance said these and other recent reports were “awake” and said that it and other people concerned about household pollution still face “great challenges.” Officials said they are still optimistic, but partly based on the breakthrough of the latest generation of biomass. The Alliance stated that it is worthwhile to continue to provide biomass stoves because many people will soon be unable to obtain propane.
“The short answer is that we want to go further, but I think there are a lot of innovations there,” Patrick said. He said that the goal of the alliance now is to give people the best stoves and encourage families to use older stoves instead of old-fashioned cooking stoves instead of replenishing them.
To achieve these goals, the Alliance and others have publicly supported furnaces that use propane. The Alliance’s website and newsletter contain more propane stoves that make up the vast majority of household appliances that meet the “clean” standards. The charitable foundation of Shell Oil Company, a major coalition supporter, has shifted its efforts to cover more pilot projects involving propane furnaces.
Deputy Director of Shell Foundation Pradeep Pusnani said that many target users use the cooking cooker for charcoal or wood burning, which increases the postponement of the use of propane.
“The other fuels at the time were more niche, so by focusing on biomass stoves, we will have a bigger impact,” said Pursnani, who described the early methods of the alliance. “At the end of 2016 and 2017, we really started to study.
In the focus of the alliance, Kirk Smith said he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Professor Berkeley Smith said that he had long realized that propane stoves were better than people’s health and environment in 1994.
He elaborated his focus in the 2002 issue of Science, and he is now talking about a deliberate provocative comment entitled “praising oil?” “Rather than excluding oil, these one-off giftes should be left to people to help fulfill our obligation to raise everyone’s health and well-being to a reasonable level,” Smith wrote.
What was the main reaction at the time?
“I have never had so many annoying emails,” he recalls.
Smith said that this resistance has proved to be stubborn. Those who are interested in cleaning cooking work abandoned propane simply because they looked politically incorrect. He called the alliance a long-lasting and expensive belief in biomass furnaces and compared it to history.
In an interview, Smith said, “The major international and bilateral development agencies and donors either neglect or informally oppose the provision of clean fuel to the world’s poor, and I would say an immoral climate.”
For Smith and other disappointing advocates of anti-contamination, the story of the Global Clean Stove Alliance seems to be frustratingly familiar – another story of a well-meaning Westerner who is keen to help the poor in the Third World, and ignoring their methods may be poorly considered.
Priyadarshini Karve – India’s famous low-emission stove designer, including the now abandoned stove in the village of Nandal – said she was too concerned about the fuel efficiency standards of the sponsors, not the real female chef looking for something in the stove. .
“The Global Clean Stove Alliance is focused on replacing traditional stoves with factory-produced products because it’s the easiest thing to do,” Calf said in an interview at a messy office in Pune. “Everyone jumped on a win-win situation. Poor families got something and we got money.”
The alliance brought resources and a spotlight to the work, but she questioned how much success the work had achieved.
“I really don’t know that even with superstars and charm, the situation on the ground is different in number from what happened before,” Calf said. “Do people’s lives really change? No one knows.”