I just returned from a busy week in China, and I am pleased to share that I saw strong progress in the country’s effort to increasingly make clean cooking a reality for many, both domestically and internationally. Through market-based pilots in six provinces, the Ministry of Agriculture has made consistent efforts to help transition people away from using coal and wood for cooking and heating. These multi-fuel pilots have provided lessons that are now helping bring them to scale. As a result, other provinces have expressed interest in piloting their own clean cooking interventions.
Through these pilots, the benefits of processing biomass into pellets is becoming clear—for increasing combustion efficiency as well as benefitting livelihoods at the local level. Going forward, we are committed to expanding these efforts by working with the Ministry to include lessons learned into the design of the next Chinese Five-Year Plan. We will also work to incorporate clean cooking into President Xi’s new Rural Revitalization initiative, launched during China’s 19th National Congress of the Communist Party (CPC) last October.
In addition, the NDRC is now allocating support for clean cooking within their South/South cooperation budgets. Through a partnership agreement, the Alliance aims to help countries in the Global South build their capacity to develop large scale clean cooking programs as a means of reducing emissions.
The progress I witnessed in China serves as an important reminder that governments plays a vital role in enabling markets for clean cooking as we move towards the 2030 agenda—especially now, as we look ahead to the UN’s Global SDG 7 Conference in Bangkok next month. Sustainable energy for all requires more financing, bolder policy commitments, and innovative technology that can be brought to scale. Countries like China, Ghana, and India have taken bold first steps, but progress must not stop there. In 2018, we must see greater commitments, deeper investment, and tangible action if we hope to achieve clean cooking for all.
Our work continues,