Almost half of the world’s population – some three billion people – still uses inefficient cookstoves to heat their water and homes, and prepare their daily meals.


  • Indoor emissions from inefficient cookstoves cause nearly 2 million premature deaths every year. Every 16 seconds, inefficient cookstoves claim a life.
  • Collecting firewood to fuel the cookstoves is one of the causes of deforestation and ecosystem damage.
  • Inefficient cookstoves give off soot, or black carbon, and so play a part in climate change.
  • Women and girls are particularly affected because in many societies they are the ones who must spend up to 20 hours a week foraging for firewood, sometimes exposing themselves to physical risk as they venture further and further from home to fulfill their family’s fuel needs.
  • Improved cookstoves cost between one and five US dollars each; yet this is too much for people already struggling to live on less than $2 a day.


UNEP’s projects on cleaner and more efficient cookstoves in developing countries aim at making efficient cookstoves more affordable and thus improve health and livelihoods, increase energy efficiency and reduce ecosystem damage. UNEP has around 10 years' experience working with partners in catalyzing the penetration of cleaner energy solutions in developing countries. UNEP is one of the founding members of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves since 2010, to contribute to improve cookstoves efficiency in developing countries.


Africa Rural Energy Enterprise Development

This UNEP programme supports innovative energy entrepreneurs with business development services and access to capital. When Suraj Wahab and Ernest Kyei wanted to start a small business selling efficient cooking stoves near their homes on the fringe of Ghana’s capital, Accra, they could not get a loan from any of the local banks. They turned to AREED, got professional help to prepare a business plan, and eventually secured a loan for $270,000. Four years later, their company, Toyola Energy, has supplied 50,000 homes in six regions of Ghana with energy-efficient cooking stoves that have helped offset an estimated 15,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Project Surya

Project Surya aims to mitigate the regional and global impacts of anthropogenic climate change by immediately and demonstrably reducing atmospheric concentrations of black carbon (BC), methane and ozone.

Project Nafa Naana

UNEP is supporting Nafa Naana through ACAD Facility in various ways, including the environmental impact assessment and kitchen stove testing, as well as by sharing the costs of its carbon documentation, including certification under the Gold Standard.


Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private initiative to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.

Climate and Clean Air Coalition to reduce short- lived climate pollutants

Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), a unique initiative to support fast action and make a difference on several fronts at once: public health, food and energy security and climate. Fast actions on short lived climate pollutants, such as the widespread adoption of advanced cookstoves have the potential to prevent over 2 million of premature deaths each year.