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MECS raises profile of the importance of scaling access to clean, electric cooking to reach Sustainable Development Goal 7 at UN Global Expert Group Meeting

17th May 2023

Representatives from the UK aid (FCDO) funded Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme recently raised the profile of the importance of scaling access to clean, electric cooking to advance progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 (universal access to sustainable energy by 2030) at the United Nation’s Global Expert Group Meeting (EGM) in Support of the Mid-Point Review of SDG 7 at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2023: Ensuring Universal Energy Access and Advancing Just, Inclusive and Equitable Energy Transitions, which took place on 11-12 May 2023 at UN Headquarters in New York.

The EGM was convened by the UN’s Department for Economic and Social Affairs, in collaboration with UN-Energy, to discuss progress and challenges regarding SDG 7, share lessons learned including on synergies with other SDGs, and distil key recommendations on ways forward. The meeting was intended to build on a variety of inputs resulting from the broader process of consultations, including Regional Sustainable Development Forums convened by the UN Regional Commissions, and thematic and multi-stakeholder consultations, such as the SDG 7 Technical Advisory Group. The end product will be a summary note which will inform the background note being produced for the review of SDG 7 at the HLPF on Sustainable Development. This year’s HLPF, including the review of SDG 7, will inform the SDG Summit to be held at the UN General Assembly in September 2023, presenting a significant opportunity to strengthen political commitment and scale up collective action towards the achievement of the SDGs and the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Professor Ed Brown (Loughborough University) and Dr. Anna Clements (Gamos Ltd.) participated in the EGM on behalf of MECS, and raised the profile of the importance of scaling access to clean, electric cooking (eCooking) to advance progress towards reaching SDG 7, highlighting these key messages:

  • Given how far we remain off course in terms of meeting the SDG 7 goal of universal access to clean cooking by 2030, bold and innovative approaches are needed to get back on track;
  • The untapped potential for synergy within SDG 7 for leveraging investment in electricity access for clean cooking through eCooking, through pointing out how billions is invested in electricity access every year, while just millions is invested in clean cooking access – but that every dollar of investment in electricity access can be utilised for clean cooking if eCooking is planned in and promoted.  
  • To encourage the international community to make stronger connections between the 2030 SDG goals and the 2050 net zero targets;
  • Attention was drawn to MECS research on electric cooking and emphasis made to how eCooking is increasingly being recognised as a game changing scaleable solution to the global clean cooking challenge that also supports the beneficial impacts of electricity access and the financial viability of electricity providers.


Featured photo: Dr Anna Clements and Professor Ed Brown outside the United Nations Headquarters following the UN Global Expert Group Meeting, 11-12 May 2023, New York (image credit: Ed Brown, MECS).

Opportunity: Women in Modern Energy Cooking (WMEC) initiative launched