LISBON, May 2, 2018—The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves issued the following statement from Alliance CEO Dymphna van der Lans on the “Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report,” which showed mixed progress on clean cooking access:

“With nearly three billion people still relying on open fires and traditional stoves and fuels to cook their food, we are facing an enormous challenge. This is a far-reaching, under-resourced issue the world has been struggling to address for decades. It’s is not going to be solved overnight. But it must be solved.

“While today’s Tracking SDG7 report showed that progress is being made on energy access, it also provided a sobering look at just how far we have to go to reach our clean cooking goals. As the report states, “If the current trajectory continues, 2.3 billion people will continue to use traditional cooking methods in 2030.”

“This is unacceptable. It’s also further evidence that business as usual is not an option. Given the magnitude of the problem, there has not been enough attention nor enough investment in clean cooking.

“To make universal access to clean cooking a reality will require a well-resourced market fueled by resilient enterprises, strong consumer demand, and government policies that support this sector.  There is no single solution – no single stove or single fuel -- for this complex issue. It’s going to take a whole systems approach.

For the Alliance and the clean cooking sector as a whole, we must put a higher focus on building a pipeline of investment-ready businesses while empowering entrepreneurs with the right kind of support. We must find better ways to increase access to affordable, accessible, and appropriate fuel supplies. And we must incite a global response appropriate to an issue that leads to nearly four million premature deaths annually and that delivers devastating impacts on health, climate, the environment, and the global economy.

“As the new SDG7 energy report shows, the challenge ahead is daunting. But we are making progress, and we know what needs to be done to accelerate clean cooking access today. The time to act is now.”