Based on the Tracking SDG7: Energy Status Report, more than 400 million people have gained access to clean cooking fuels and technologies since 2010. Over the same period, the annual pace of access more than doubled.
This is impressive progress, particularly for an issue as underfunded and undervalued as clean cooking.
Yet as the report also notes – and as those of us working on clean cooking know all too well – the pace of progress remains far too slow. Accelerating the pace of progress across all regions and indicators will require stronger political commitment, long-term energy planning, and adequate policy incentives to spur faster uptake of sustainable energy solutions.
It will also take funding. “There is an urgent need to scale up investment. Public and private finance for clean cooking remains far below the necessary level,” the report correctly states.
Making these solutions work will require a coordinated approach across the entire clean cooking sector, with a role for every actor – governments, donors, finance institutions, the private sector and civil society.
We’re already seeing this much needed coordination as part of the going UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE). In addition, the Clean Cooking Alliance, together with partners, has developed a Clean Cooking Systems Strategy that aims to unlock a new trajectory for clean cooking. Many of the Strategy’s initial findings are already feeding into this year’s high-level political forums such as HLDE, the Health & Energy Platform of Action, and COP 26, among others.
We cannot reach our collective goals without a collaborative effort: it is too important for the planet, and for the billions of people around the world who deserve to be able to safely cook for their families. We call on all actors across the ecosystem to prioritize clean cooking and take bold action to ensure we achieve our climate and development goals, leaving no one behind.