One in five people on the planet lack access to modern electricity. Twice that number, nearly three billion people, rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking or heating. The use of open fires and traditional cookstoves and fuels is one of the world's most pressing health and environmental problems, leading to deforestation, air pollution, and contributing to climate change, and it disproportionately affects women and children.
Household air pollution produced by rudimentary cookstoves is so toxic that the World Health Organization estimates it leads to more than four million deaths every year - a figure that exceeds the death toll attributed to malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.
Shell's support for the cookstoves market builds on the work of Shell Foundation, an independent charity, which has been working to build an international market for affordable clean cookstoves for more than 10 years.
Shell's partnership with the Clean Cooking Alliance
To overcome a fragmented market and improve coordination throughout the sector, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, since renamed the Clean Cooking Alliance, was launched in 2010. It is taking a market based approach to tackling the issues associated with open fires and traditional cookstoves by stimulating demand, enhancing supply and raising awareness through advocacy with key decision-makers.
The Alliance's goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. Since its launch in 2010, the Alliance and its partners have distributed an estimated 53 million clean and/or efficient stoves and is well on track to reach the 2020 goals.
Shell is the largest private sector supporter of the Alliance. To date we have pledged $13 million and provided in-kind contributions including business and technical skills and a full time secondee. We also have a Shell leader on its Advisory Council. Focus of our funding is currently on creating impact locally in China, India and Nigeria.
Shell has also contributed half of the Alliance's Spark Fund, which provides investment-like growth capital and capacity development support to help cookstove enterprises reach commercial viability. We believe that a strong societal impact can be made by supporting young enterprises so that they can reach their full potential and deliver the innovations the cookstove sector needs to thrive. Winners of the Spark Fund receive mentoring from Shell staff in order to sustainably scale up their businesses.
In 2016, Shell co-funded 7 pilot projects in China to explore a more market-driven approach to promoting clean cookstoves and fuels, reaching 250,000 households.
In India, it sponsored a "Boost" workshop for 14 cookstove and clean fuel businesses to help them articulate their business strategy and growth plans that would support their applications for future funding.
Shell's work on developing a market for clean cooking solutions in Timor Leste
In East Timor, Shell partnered with Mercy Corps to set up a Cookstove Testing and Knowledge Centre and support the development of private sector actors that can produce, promote and sell cookstoves to households and businesses. The project succeeded in spreading awareness among key stakeholders of the benefits of clean cookstoves as well as leveraging local businesses to produce and sell cookstoves to houses and businesses. The program has supported 33 micro-enterprises to establish themselves as clean cookstove producers and retailers, provided four technical training modules and linkages to complementary support services for these micro-enterprises.
Collaboration with UNDP has created an improved shift in improved cookstoves across Timor-Leste. This impact is evidenced through increased numbers of producers who are now establishing retail chains in target districts and at least 3,700 rural households (or roughly 21,090 individuals) who will be directly impacted by the project through ownership and use of improved cookstoves.