Amid diplomatic speed-dating, Clinton pitches 'clean stoves'
For secretaries of state, the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly is the diplomatic equivalent of speed-dating. Every day is filled from morning to night with a succession of meetings with other diplomats. Some are lengthy, such as Hillary Rodham Clinton's meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister on Monday. Others are simply "pull-asides" -- five-minute chats in a hallway to make a point about a particular topic.
On Tuesday alone, she met with counterparts from Libya, Ireland, Sudan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Middle East peace grouping known as "the Quartet" and Arab countries involved in the peace effort. On Tuesday night, she will dine with foreign ministers from NATO and E.U. countries.
But in the midst of all this activity, Clinton took time out of her day to pitch a new initiative: clean cook stoves.
It may seem like an arcane subject for a secretary of state, but it fits with Clinton's interest in helping women in the developing world. And it probably didn't hurt that the initiative was being launched at her husband's concurrent diplomatic confab, the Clinton Global Initiative.
Clinton said the initiative would seek to install 100 million clean-burning stoves in kitchens around the world. She said an estimated 3 billion people, mainly women and children, gather around open fires and poorly ventilated stoves that use dung and other noxious material.
"The food they prepare is different on every continent, but the air they breathe is shockingly similar: a toxic mix of chemicals released by burning wood or other solid fuel," Clinton said.
Full text of Clinton's prepared remarks -- along with fact sheets on the project -- follows.
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
REMARKS AT CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE
NEW YORK, NY
SEPTEMBER 21, 2010
It is a pleasure to once again join this remarkable gathering. Too many people here deserve recognition to name them all. So let me just express my appreciation to all the representatives of foreign governments, as well as the leaders and advocates who are sharing the stage today. And of course, I want to thank my husband for organizing this event and instilling it with a spirit of activism, innovation and commitment.
Last year at CGI, I spoke about the Obama Administration's new strategy for international development, which has elevated development alongside diplomacy and defense as the core pillars of American foreign policy. We are working with our partner countries to help them obtain the tools and capacity they need to solve their own problems and contribute to solving shared problems. Our goal is to help people lift themselves, their families, and their societies out of poverty and toward a better life. This is not development for development's sake; this work advances our own security, prosperity and values.
We have focused on strategic areas where we can make the biggest impact: agricultural chains that stretch from the farm to the market to the table and keep people nourished and productive; health systems that help people spend their days working rather than sick or dying; opportunities for women and girls that allow them to contribute to economic and social progress.
Today I want to tell you about a new initiative that will advance these other efforts and help put vital new tools in the hands of millions of people.
As we meet here in New York, women are cooking dinner for their families in homes and villages around the world. As many as 3 billion people are gathering around open fires or old and inefficient stoves in small kitchens and poorly ventilated houses. Many of the women have labored over these hearths for hours, often with their infant babies strapped to their backs, and spent hours more gathering fuel. The food they prepare is different on every continent, but the air they breathe is shockingly similar: a toxic mix of chemicals released by burning wood or other solid fuel that can reach 200 times the amount the EPA considers safe. As the women cook, smoke fills their lungs, and the toxins begin poisoning them and their children.
The results of daily exposure can be devastating: pneumonia - the number one killer of children worldwide - chronic respiratory diseases, lung cancer and a range of other heath problems. The World Heath Organization considers smoke from dirty stoves to be one of the five most serious health risk factors for people in poor developing countries. Nearly 2 million people die from its effects each year - more than twice the number from malaria. And because the smoke contains greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, as well as black carbon, it also contributes to climate change.
There are other consequences as well. In conflict zones like the Congo, the journeys that women must take to find scarce fuel put them at risk of sexual assault. Even in safer areas, every hour spent collecting fuel is an hour not spent in school or tending crops or running a business.
People have cooked over open fires and dirty stoves for all of human history. But the simple fact is that they are slowly killing millions of people.
Engineers and development professionals have worked on this problem for decades. My own involvement stretches back many years. Well-meaning efforts have been launched, but none have managed to match the scope of this challenge.
Today, because of technological breakthroughs, new carbon financing tools, and growing private sector engagement, we can finally envision a future in which open fires and dirty stoves are replaced by clean, efficient and affordable stoves and fuels all over the world - stoves that still cost as little as $25.
I know this may sound hard to believe, but by upgrading these stoves, millions of lives could be saved and improved. They could be as transformative as bed nets or vaccines.
So today, I am pleased to announce the creation of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation that will work toward the goal of 100 million homes adopting new, clean stoves and fuels by 2020. Our long-term goal is universal adoption all over the world.
The Alliance is a model public-private partnership that already includes governments such as the United States, Germany, Norway and Peru; international development organizations and local NGOs; as well as foundations and private companies such as Morgan Stanley and Shell. And we expect to grow quickly.
This effort will proceed on a number of parallel tracks.
First, a major applied research and development effort to improve design, lower costs, and develop global industry standards. There are already some good stoves out there, but we can make them much more durable, efficient, and affordable - and scale up production to reach a mass market. With the right advances, new stoves could even use their own wasted heat to produce electricity that powers smoke-clearing fans, mobile phones, and household lights.
Second, a broad-based campaign to create a commercial market for clean stoves, including reducing trade barriers, promoting consumer awareness, and boosting access to large-scale carbon financing. No single stove will meet the needs of every community across the world. Previous efforts have taught us that if local tastes are not considered, people will simply not use the stoves. And that is why a market-based approach that relies on testing, monitoring, and research is so important. If we do this right, these new stoves will fit seamlessly into family cooking traditions while also offering a step up toward a better life.
Third, we will integrate clean stoves into international development projects so that refugee camps, disaster relief efforts and longer-tem aid programs all act as distribution networks.
Women and girls, who are the vast majority of stove users, will be a focus throughout. Women-owned, micro-financed businesses and networks can extend deep into hard-to-reach communities. I know that a number of my friends from SEWA, the Self-Employed Women's Association that has made such a difference for millions of women in India, are with us today and they are already working hard to make this happen.
The United States has committed more than $50 million over the next five years to this initiative and we urge other countries to join us. Donors have pledged an additional $10 million and we are working to raise more every day - with the goal of reaching at least $250 million over 10 years. This is a project that brings together experts from across our government. Many of them have long experience working on clean stoves, but never before have we pooled our resources and expertise behind a single global campaign as we are doing today. And never before have we had the range of global partners and coordination that the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves will bring with it.
We need your help as well. You are here because you are committed to identifying and investing in innovative solutions to persistent global problems. Today I challenge you to join us. Be a part of this solution. This is an issue that brings together so many of our concerns. Whether you're passionate about health, the environment, sustainable development or women's empowerment, we need you.
The next time you sit down with your family to eat, take a moment to imagine the smell of the smoke, feel it in your lungs, see the soot building up on the walls. Then come find us at the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
Hearths - whatever they look like - are where we gather, where we tell stories and pass down our values. They bind families together. And the benefits from cleaner and safer homes will ripple out, with healthier families, stronger communities, and more stable societies.
This is one problem we can solve - and with your help, we will.
Now, it is my pleasure to welcome to the stage a woman who has provided invaluable leadership in this effort and on so many other key challenges: our terrific EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson.
Secretary Clinton Announces the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the Clinton Global Initiative
Global Effort to Address One of Worst Overall Health Risks in Developing World
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a new public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions that will save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change. The Alliance will work to tackle the severe health, economic, and environmental consequences associated with smoke from traditional cook stoves and open fires used by over half the world's population. According to the World Health Organization, toxic smoke from cookstoves is one of the top five health risks in poor developing countries and prematurely kills nearly 2 million people each year.
In an unprecedented and coordinated effort by the United States and our partners to address this challenge, the Department of State, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will mobilize key financial resources, top experts, and research and development tools to help the Alliance achieve its "100 by 20" target -- 100 million households adopting clean cookstoves by 2020. The initial U.S. financial commitment to the Alliance is $50.82 million over the next 5 years.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves will work in cooperation with other leading international non-profit organizations, foundations, academic institutions, corporate leaders, governments, UN agencies, local NGO's, women's civil society groups and community members to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment and use of clean cookstoves in the developing world.
For more information on the Alliance, go to www.state.gov/s/partnerships/cleancookstoves or www.cleancookstoves.org.
Included are quotes from each of the U.S. Government's founding partners of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
"Today we can finally envision a future in which open fires and dirty stoves are replaced by clean, efficient and affordable stoves and fuels all over the world -- stoves that still cost as little as $25. By upgrading these dirty stoves, millions of lives could be saved and improved. Clean stoves could be as transformative as bed nets or vaccines. " - Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
"EPA is proud to partner with the State Department, our Administration colleagues, the United Nations Foundation, and the other Alliance partners to address one of the greatest environmental health risks facing the international community today. As a first step in this new partnership, EPA will invest $6 million over the next five years to enhance efforts at stove testing and evaluation, cookstove design innovation and assessments of health benefits. For more than eight years, EPA has been a leader in this field, and we will bring our expertise, our lessons learned and our global network to launching and leading the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves." - Lisa P. Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
"As part of the cookstoves alliance, the Department of Energy is lending our scientific and technical resources to develop practical solutions that are clean, safe and affordable. Pursuing concrete steps towards more efficient stoves makes good financial sense, good public health sense and good environmental sense." - Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy
"The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recognizes that improved cookstoves can contribute to many important development goals, such as improving the health of women and children by reducing indoor smoke, promoting environmental stability through more fuel efficient models, and fostering economic growth. As a founding partner of the new Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, USAID seeks innovative, sustainable, and evidence-based solutions for these issues to improve the lives of the billions of people still relying on traditional fuels and stoves." - Dr. Rajiv Shah, United States Agency for International Development Administrator
"Indoor cookstoves are a serious health concern in developing countries. The toxic emissions from these cooking fires cause low birth weights, pneumonia in young children, and heart and lung problems in adults, and kill nearly 2 million people each year, mostly women and children. Our research efforts will focus on reducing the impact of these cookstoves while evaluating new, cleaner technologies to improve human health." - Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., National Institutes of Health Director
"Cleaner cookstoves save lives. Members of the Alliance have partnered to bring this safer, more efficient, and feasible intervention to low-income countries. CDC will work with our public health partners around the world to develop and implement strategies to deploy this important solution and to track, document and assure resulting improvements in health." - Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control Director
"Millions of people around the world suffer daily from the harmful health and environmental impacts caused by indoor cooking fires and inefficient cookstoves. Together with the Global Alliance on Clean Cookstoves, we are taking action to address this critical problem and to promote a cleaner, healthier environment. I am pleased to celebrate the launch of this Alliance and proud to say that agencies from across the U.S. Federal Government will continue to play an important role in this initiative." - Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
For more information on the United States' commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, click here. To learn about the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, click here.
# # #
The United States and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
On September 21, 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation, to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.
The U.S. Department of State, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), all of whom are founding partners of the Alliance, have forged an unprecedented government effort to mobilize financial resources, top U.S. experts, and research and development tools to help the Alliance achieve its target of '100 by 20,' which calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020.
The United States is not alone in this effort. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a new and innovative public-private initiative led by the United Nations Foundation, will work in cooperation with other leading international non-profit organizations, foundations, academic institutions, corporate leaders, governments, UN agencies, and local NGO's, women's self-help groups, and community members to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves in the developing world.
What is the U.S. role in the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves?
The U.S., a founding partner of the Alliance, is utilizing a three-pronged approach to mobilize funding, expertise, and research and development resources to tackle this grave health, safety, environmental, and economic risk that affects the livelihoods of nearly half of the world's population.
Commitment to financial contribution
The U.S. is pledging $50.82 million over the next five years to ensure that the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves reaches its '100 by 20,' which calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020, with a long-term vision of universal adoption of clean and efficient cooking solutions.
Commitment to shared expertise
The U.S. stands ready to mobilize its top experts on gender, health, security, economics, and climate change to address some of the leading risk factors associated with traditional cookstoves and open fires. In addition, the United States will offer technical expertise and assistance for the implementation of clean and efficient cookstoves.
Commitment to research and development
The U.S. will provide an unprecedented commitment to an applied research and development effort that will serve as the backbone of future efforts in the field. It will include:
Understanding and describing the health and environmental benefits of using clean stoves and fuels;
Developing the next generation of clean, efficient, durable, and affordable technologies; and,
Conducting extensive field testing and monitoring to assure success of the Alliance goals.
What are the challenges the United States and the Alliance seek to address?
Exposure to toxic smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires accounts for nearly 2 million premature deaths annually, with women and young children the most affected, according to World Health Organization estimates. The primary means of cooking and heating for nearly 3 billion people in the developing world, exposure to cookstove smoke has cross-cutting implications, including: increased health problems, personal security risks, environmental consequences, and a negative economic impact.
Cookstove smoke contributes to a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts, such as acute pneumonia in children under the age of five, lung cancer, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). A growing body of evidence suggests links to other conditions, including Tuberculosis, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and low birth weight.
The World Health Organization estimates harmful cookstove smoke to be the fifth-worst overall health risk factor in poor, developing countries.
Personal Security Risks
Reliance on biomass (e.g. wood, dung, coal) for cooking fuel and heating forces women and children to spend many hours each week collecting these items. Women and girls face severe personal security risks as they collect fuel, especially those living in communities of instability, including refugee camps and conflict zones.
Environmental Consequences & Climate Change
Roughly 3 billion people cook their food by burning solids, such as wood, dung or coal in crude, polluting stoves. The use of these fuels represents a significant part of the total primary energy demand in developing regions, nearly half for Africa and more than a quarter for India. Reliance on biomass increases pressures on local natural resources and habitats.
Inefficient, polluting cookstoves can contribute to climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and aerosols such as black carbon. The broad use and adoption of clean cookstoves would significantly reduce these emissions.
Why the United States is committed to this partnership.
Encouraging the development and use of clean cookstoves in cultures, communities, and countries throughout the developing world is consistent with the core principles of U.S. foreign policy and development efforts, which focus on improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations. It is also consistent with U.S. commitments to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. This initiative is working toward reversing the negative health, security, and climate implications of traditional cookstoves and open fires.
The U.S. and the '100 by 20' campaign
The United States is committed to working with the Alliance to help achieve its '100 by 20' goal, which calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020, thereby laying the foundation for a long-term, universal adoption of clean and efficient cooking solutions.
To achieve this goal, the United States joins the Alliance in pursuing a business plan that will: address the global prerequisites for the field to ensure the large-scale adoption of clean cookstoves; identify target markets and develop operational strategies that emphasize the participation of women; and, develop a globally coordinated research roadmap to facilitate progress on all aspects of the Alliance's work, including public health, personal security, and the environment.
Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves: The United States Commitment By the Numbers
On September 21, 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation, which focuses on creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household solutions.
The U.S. Department of State, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), all of whom are founding partners of the Alliance, have forged an unprecedented government effort to mobilize financial resources, top- level U.S. experts, and research and development tools to help the Alliance achieve its target of '100 by 20,' which calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020.
United States Commitment - $50.82 million over the next five years (broken down by agency)
Department of State/U.S. Agency for International Aid and Development (USAID) - $9.02 million
-The Department of State and USAID will commit $9.02 million over the next five years to address the harmful effects of smoke exposure from traditional cookstoves and will utilize its diplomatic outreach to encourage foreign government support.
-Funding will support applied and operational research into how people use improved stove technology and how indoor air quality and sanitation interventions can improve household environments and promote economic opportunities for women.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - $6 million
-EPA will contribute $6 million over the next 5 years to work with partners across the globe to advance this field in critical areas including:
Stove testing and evaluation in both the lab and the field;
Cookstove design innovations, possibly including a design competition and prize; and
Assessments focused on health and exposure benefits of improved stoves.
-In addition, it will draw the expertise, lessons learned, and network that we have developed in launching and leading the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air since 2002 to help the Alliance meet its 2020 goal.
Department of Energy (DOE) - $10 million
-DOE will contribute $10 million over the next five years and conduct research aimed at addressing technical barriers to the development of low emission, high efficiency cookstoves through activities in areas such as combustion, heat transfer, and materials development.
-DOE will also work to raise additional funding support for the Alliance through engagement with countries participating in the second Clean Energy Ministerial meeting scheduled for April 2011.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
-National Institutes of Health (NIH) -$24.7 million
NIH will commit about $24.7 million over five years to support ongoing research and research training projects, as well as new efforts to develop improved measuring devices, expand epidemiologic studies and conduct clinical trials. Ongoing projects include studies on the cookstove-related effects on pulmonary and cardiac diseases, the relationship between indoor air pollution and low-birth weight, and studies on the most effective ways to introduce and educate users on safety and the proper use of cookstoves. Training programs help prepare scientists in low- and middle-income countries to engage in related research and evaluation activities.
NIH will also lead and co-sponsor an international state-of-science cookstoves conference in late Spring 2011. The Office of Global Health Affairs, within HHS' Office of the Secretary, will contribute $100,000 to support this conference.
-Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - $1 million: As a founding member the CDC is committing to working closely with Alliance members and the global community to:
Demonstrate the health benefits of implementing clean cookstove programs
Better understand the relationship between human exposures and health outcomes
Integrate cookstove implementation with other public health programs
Evaluate cookstove program implementation
Nearly 2 million premature deaths every year: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.9 million people die prematurely every year because of exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires; that's nearly 1 death every 16 seconds.
3 billion people are affected: Nearly half of the world's population - are affected by exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires.
One of the Top Five Leading Causes of Disease in the Developing World: According to WHO estimates, exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves accounts as one of the top five worst overall health risk factors in developing countries.
'100 by 20': The United States is committed to working with the Alliance to achieve the adoption of clean efficient cookstoves and fuels in 100 million households by 2020.
20 Founding Partners ... and Growing: The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves include: The United Nations Foundation, Shell Foundation, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, World Health Organization (WHO), German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellchaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Morgan Stanley/Morgan Stanley Foundation, UN-Energy, World Food Programme, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Institutes of Health; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), UN High Commissioner for Refugees, SNV Netherlands Development Organization, Shell, Government of Peru, and the Government of Norway
| September 21, 2010; 4:59 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: U.S. official presses for calm between China, Japan
Next: 29 Afghan women break barrier, become army officers
Posted by: shengar | September 21, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mordechayariely | September 22, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse