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Initiatives to enhance the outreach of clean and modern energy cooking services – Laos PDR and Asia Clean Energy Forum 2023

29th June 2023

By Dr Samir Thapa (MECS Programme, Loughborough University)

In June, MECS Programme participated in two important events focusing on its work in the Asia-Pacific.

In the first event, MECS presented a key-note speech in a panel discussion titled “Opportunities and Challenges in the Transition to electric cooking in Lao PDR.” The event was organised on 13 June 2023 by SNV with funding support from ENDEV. During the event, MECS highlighted the lessons learnt from its global practices, and drawing from its Global Market Assessment, emphasised the health benefits together with the aspirations for modernisation with electric cooking in Laos- despite biomass being derived from a comparatively more renewable forest stock in Laos.

MECS also highlighted Laos PDR’s niche with respect to the need of harnessing its hydropower resources to fulfil its internal electric cooking demand and that of its neighbours. This aspect was then related to blended finance possibilities of using the hydropower revenue together with carbon financing to scale up electric cooking. Possibilities of preparing Laos eCooking diaries, use of jurisdictional carbon financing as per Article 6.2 and integrated electricity and cooking planning was discussed during the event.

Image 1: Prof Ed Brown and Dr Samir Thapa – Keynote presentation. Image Credit: SNV Laos, 2023.

In the second event, MECS together with UNESCAP, UNCDF and SEforAll partnered with the Asian Development Bank to organise a Deep Dive Workshop on the topic of Empowering and Enabling market development on clean cooking in the Asia-Pacific. The event was conducted on 14 June 2023 as part of the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2023, held on 12 to 16 June 2023. During the Deep Dive Workshop, the country delegates from Philippines, Bhutan, Nepal, Laos PDR, Georgia, and Fiji highlighted their plans and policies to accelerate the transition to clean and modern energy cooking services.

The country level discussions highlighted some of the important ongoing works to promote modern cooking services – such as new evidence generated on the health impacts of transitioning to electric cooking from different fuel sources, financing scale up through aggregation of the impacts as receivables – potentially as part of ongoing Article 6 implementation works and how transitioning to clean and modern cooking services would contribute to NDC achievements.

MECS highlighted their work on carbon financing and results-based-financing and potential further developments around impact financing, especially on quantifying health and gender. This particularly focused around MECS support to Gold Standard on the development of the Measured and Metered Energy Cooking Device methodology (MMECD) together with the support to ATEC to develop a carbon financing project based on MMCED. There was substantial interest generated from governments of Nepal and Bhutan with regards to how and if the methodology could facilitate their ongoing works and plans on carbon financing.

Featured Image: Participants at the workshop. Image credit: SNV Laos, 2023.