Brinkmann for GIZ
Indoor Air Pollution, Ethiopia

Up to four million people die prematurely every year from illnesses associated with exposure to smoke from polluting, open fires or inefficient stoves1. Air pollution is the leading environmental health risk globally2, and household air pollution (HAP) contributes to a range of heart and lung diseases, with emerging evidence of a role in negative birth outcomes3.Cleaner, more modern stoves and fuels can reduce emissions and lessening the burden of disease associated with HAP4.


The Problem

Three billion people around the world depend on food cooked over polluting, open fires or inefficient stoves5. Exposure to HAP from burning wood, charcoal, coal, and kerosene is a leading risk factor for diseases, including childhood pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer6. There is emerging evidence that when pregnant women are exposed to HAP, their infants are at increased risk for stillbirth, low birthweight, and decreased lung function7. Emissions from household cooking are a significant source of ambient air pollution and a major contributor to climate change8. Globally up to four million people die prematurely every year from illnesses attributable to HAP9.


Clean Cooking Solutions

Replacing polluting, open fires or inefficient stoves with cleaner, more modern stoves and fuels reduces emissions and personal exposure, lowering the burden of disease associated with HAP10. Research suggests that significant exposure reductions are required to measurably reduce negative health impacts. Therefore, substantial improvements in health can only be achieved with intensive, near-exclusive use of the lowest emission cookstoves and fuels11. Randomized control trials of near-exclusive use have shown reductions in severe pneumonia in young children and reduced duration of respiratory infections in children. Additionally, emerging research indicates that switching to cleaner technologies and fuels lowers blood pressure in pregnant women, increases birth weight, and increases gestational age at delivery12. Achieving these positive health outcomes requires: driving consumer demand for cleaner, more modern stoves and fuels; building a pipeline of investible businesses capable of delivering affordable, appropriate, high-quality products; and creating an enabling environment that allows the sector to thrive






1WHO, 2016:
2IHME, 2013:
3Various Sources, many outlined here:
4Various Sources, many outlined here:
5WHO, 2018
6WHO, 2018
7Various Sources, many outlined here:
8Various Sources, including: Bond et. al., 2013: ; ; Bailis et al, 2015: Rob Bailis of Stockholm Environment Institute, researched funded by the Global Alliance and published in Nature and Climate Change in 2015
9WHO, 2016:
10Various Sources, many outlined here:
11WHO, 2014:
12Various Sources, many outlined here: