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$156b needed yearly for universal access to clean cooking

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
01 September 2021   |   2:58 am
The world will need $156 billion yearly to transit Nigeria and other countries to clean cooking sources for a 2030 deadline to be realised.

Cooking gas

The world will need $156 billion yearly to transit Nigeria and other countries to clean cooking sources for a 2030 deadline to be realised.

A document from the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA), which has already been endorsed by the United Nations, World Trade Organisation (WTO), African Refiners and Distribution Association and other stakeholders revealed an aggressive agenda towards universal access for clean cooking.

Coming at a time when the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is skyrocketing in Nigeria and forcing people to cope with the dangers of cooking with biomass and the implications on deforestation, the CCA manifesto seen by The Guardian noted that about 26 per cent funding requirement must come from public-sector sources to de-risk private investment.

Also, a further 67 per cent is expected to come from household expenditure while private sector financing required for the development of downstream infrastructure essential to the functioning of the modern energy cooking markets would account for the remaining seven per cent.

With environmental and health dangers, the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) and other experts had warned of imminent danger if Africa fails to quickly adopt modern clean cooking energy as over 600,000 Africans, especially Nigerians may die yearly, due to household air pollution like firewood and charcoal.

“To date, the level of commitment and investment in clean cooking has not matched the global magnitude of the challenge. Considering the yearly toll on human health, forests, climate and local economies, clean cooking solutions should be central to global strategies and to national recovery plans.

“Changing the way families cook their food each day will slow climate change and deforestation, drive gender equality, reduce poverty, and provide enormous health benefits,” the document noted.

To address the challenges, the alliance noted that immediate actions were needed from governments, international finance and development institutions, and the private sector to accelerate action on clean cooking.

The players canvassed a just energy transition that leaves no one behind, adding that the clean cooking community must address the tensions and trade-offs inherent in achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2030 and zero emissions by 2050 and ensure pathways for a just and inclusive energy transition.

“Governments submitting their revised NDCs should ensure clean cooking is fully embedded, with robust targets to meet climate and development goals. Likewise, governments should engage in integrated energy planning that addresses the full suite of household energy needs, including clean cooking, to maximize health and livelihood benefits of energy access,” CCA noted.

The body similarly mulled the creation of governmental clean cooking ‘delivery units’ that lead and coordinate clean cooking efforts across agencies and departments.

The experts also asked stakeholders to enact favourable and stable fiscal policies to sustain business growth and increase affordability, stressing that the government could support the development of a robust clean cooking industry through tax and import duty exemptions, accelerated depreciation, and smart subsidies.

“These approaches have been deployed, with much success, in the off-grid, renewable power sector. Purely market-based models are unlikely to be sufficient to deliver affordable solutions at the level required to achieve universal access by 2030. Given the multiple social and developmental benefits associated with clean cooking, deploying innovative supply and demand-side subsidies is justified to enable wider access, as has been the case in the off-grid solar sector,” the document stated.

The group also stressed the need to support countries to develop appropriate policy frameworks and technical support to enable rapid growth of clean cooking solutions.

To them, countries need to be supported when developing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans, adding that there is a need to be representative of the current situation on clean cooking and make sure to call for stronger help from the international community through climate finance for clean cooking solutions.

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