CO2balance improved cookstove projects support the dissemination and construction of improved cooking solutions for rural communities that primarily rely on unimproved, traditional cooking methods; most commonly the ‘three stone fire’. Particularly in rural areas, wood is the most important energy source for households, as alternatives are often unavailable or unaffordable.

Reliance on wood fuel means that households are exposed to hazardous indoor air pollution, which is responsible for over 4 million premature deaths annually and contributes to several chronic illnesses. The predominant use of wood fuel for energy is also a significant driver of deforestation; and places a heavy burden on those who have to travel to collect the wood fuel, principally women and children.

CO2balance’s improved cookstove projects offer households subsidised or free clean cooking solutions, which are adapted to meet local customs and contexts. The cookstoves have increased thermal efficiency to significantly reduce wood fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The impacts of improved cookstoves are wide-reaching and include decreasing exposure to household air pollution; minimising the amount of time that women and girls spend collecting wood fuel; and alleviating the pressure of wood demand on the local environment.

Improved cookstoves projects, that CO2balance currently implements in 4 countries, make a vital contribution to universal clean cooking access (SDG7), as well as to several other SDGs. Given that progress towards clean cooking is currently not on track to meet its universal target, these projects play a crucial role in improving the well-being and lives of thousands of families.