The critical urgency for advancing clean cooking solutions in light of the Covid-19 pandemic

By Prof. Ed Brown, MECS Research Director.

Building on some of the issues raised in the current MECS newsletter, our colleague Dymphna van der Lans, CEO of the Clean Cooking Alliance, has recently authored an Op-Ed piece with the Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Samira Bawumia. The article discusses the critical urgency for advancing clean cooking solutions in light of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Cooking with biomass is a leading cause of household air pollution; the WHO estimates that biomass cooking causes around four million ‘excess’ deaths each year.

In the piece they make two main arguments. Firstly, they argue that governments across developing countries should incorporate clean cooking into their pandemic emergency response plans. They illustrate this in reference to some examples of such policies and call on other governments to follow their lead. Second, they strongly warn governments not to let short-term responses to the pandemic undermine long-term health goals and existing policies in relation to combating domestic air pollution.

We welcome their intervention and look forward to working with them and other stakeholders globally to ensure that enhancing access to modern energy cooking services is placed at the centre of pandemic response planning.

The full Op-Ed piece can be accessed here.