A new initiative has been launched by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and UAE to provide clean cooking energy and technologies to households and communities across the world.
The Beyond Food partnership, in collaboration with Nama Women Advancement Establishment, will promote the deployment of clean cooking solutions, with plans to expand and bring in more key actors to work together on this issue.
According to IRENA, more than 2.6 billion people still rely on traditional fuels for their cooking needs and access to clean and affordable energy still lags “well behind” the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 target of providing access to clean energy to all by 2030.
It adds while higher levels of investments flow towards renewable electricity projects both on and off-grid, the clean cooking sector only attracts a limiting amount of local and international finance.
An estimated nearly four million people die a year from illnesses linked to cooking with polluting fuels and women are the most affected, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to IRENA, said: “It is alarming that globally nearly one out of every three people today still lack the resources or the infrastructure for a clean cooking environment, relying on cooking fuels like charcoal, wood and kerosene.
“The consequences of this are two-fold: firstly, it creates and perpetuates unhealthy living environments and secondly it actually increases harmful carbon emissions.
“Finding innovative ways to help people benefit from cleaner food systems, agriculture and livelihoods is essential to ensuring long-term sustainable human development. And I’m delighted to see that, with the launch of the Beyond Food initiative, the UAE is working with its international partners to do exactly that.”