Cooking, as a fundamental part of life which bonds humanity must be clean to deepen its cultural and social significance, according to Madam Dymphna van der Lans, Chief Officer, Clean Cooking Alliance.
“Yet, today, billions of people do not have the luxury of safe meal preparations. Instead, they depend on polluting, open fires or inefficient, climate-harming stoves to cook their daily meals, harming their health, the climate, and the environment,” she said.
Madam van der Lans was speaking at the 2022 Clean Cooking Forum which opened in Accra to celebrate and discuss investment, innovation, and impact across the clean cooking ecosystem.
The two-day Forum, organised by Clean Cooking Alliance and partners, brought together government representatives, policy makers, entrepreneurs and experts in the clean energy sector.
The CEO underscored the need for clean energy for households to achieve global climate and sustainable development goals, however, clean cooking was “too often seen as a second-tier priority” despite its far-reaching benefits.
Madam Lans said the sector lacked adequate funding and investment to match the global magnitude of the challenge.
“We’ve seen incredible progress since the last time we were together in Kenya in 2019, with more than half a billion people gaining access to clean cooking since 2010, saving millions of lives and billions of dollars in economic impacts,” she said.
The CEO noted that while the sector required more work, it was gaining momentum and recent trends represented a turning point.
Madam Lans said nearly 70 countries had made clean cooking part of their Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Clean cooking enterprises, she said, were raising previously unheard-of levels of capital, the amount of capital raised in the first part of 2022 alone was more than double what was reported in 2020.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, said local capacity was required to support the growth of the clean cooking industry in respective countries.
He said Cabinet approved the Public-Private-Partnership project in 2019, to locally produce and distribute Five Hundred Thousand (500,000) Improved Cookstoves jointly with the Ministry of Energy and the Climate Change Center (CCC) of South Korea.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said the Carbon-for-Stove project was the largest clean cooking intervention in the ECOWAS Region and in line with the Government’s commitment to distribute three million improved cookstoves by 2030.
The project, the Minister stated, would save about one million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per annum, reducing the supply of trees for charcoal production and contributing to the improvement of the overall carbon footprint of Ghana.
He said the Ministry, central to the development of a vibrant and sustainable clean cooking sector in Ghana, was partnering leading stakeholders to expand the clean cooking market and scale-up access.
Mr Opoku Prempeh said Government policies and interventions by its partners had positively impacted the clean cooking market, keeping it on track for investments, scaling up and commercialisation.